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If you own the garden

  • Subject: [cg] If you own the garden
  • From: "a.h.steely" gfcp@mindspring.com
  • Date: Thu, 12 Dec 2002 15:49:19 -0500

To the party that thought that the government can not take the property if
you have a deed...  I have seen the government take - for a dam project on
the upper Delaware River - huge acreage and then arrest squatters who lived
on the property for years as well as some of the people who refused to sell
even after eminent domain went through the courts.  The dam on the Delaware
was finally found to be not viable or some such nonsense.  That was over 30
years ago when I lived in a town named Lambertville, N.J. which is across
the bridge from New Hope, Pa.  Those farmlands and homes were owned in their
entirety by the deed holders, unlike the lands of western Penna. and W. Vir.
down through Kentucky which have underground rights owned by coal companies.

Most city property sits on land that the city can use for sewers, power
conduits, etc.  The bundle of property rights means nothing if the
government decides that your land is wanted for something the elected
officials vote is for the common good.  In the state capitol of Harrisburg,
Pa. I have watched the common good defined as whatever some developer
convinced an elected official was good for the economic well-being of the
bribed official.

We just had a representative named John Barley retire because he eminent
domained his neighbors for property to be given to family members building a
dump.  But for years (since the 1960's) he had been the bag man for payments
to the state legislators...  a fellow Mason of Mr. Barley told me that.

No matter how much of the bundle of property rights your community garden
organization owns, it is not safe.

Sincerely sorry to correct your wishful belief,
Helen Steely
Harrisburg, Pa.
Paralegal and former law student in a real live law school.

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