Kelo Neighborhood Stinks. Literally.

Four years after Kelo v. City of New London, where the Supreme Court upheld New London, Connecticut's controversial use of eminent domain to implement a "comprehensive redevelopment plan" that would provide "appreciable benefits to the community," the neighborhood still hasn't been developed. And it stinks. From The Day's Judy Benson:

For the past few weeks, periodic emanations from the city's sewage treatment plant have been unleashing some bad memories.

"It has been stinking," said Murray Renshaw, whose business, Renshaw Plumbing, is located at the intersection of Howard and Shaw streets, a few blocks from the plant.

Another neighborhood property owner, who asked not to be named, said he's noticed foul odors wafting around his doorstep for the past month or so. Mostly, he said, it's happened on weekends, early in the morning and at night. The treatment plant is located less than a quarter-mile away on Trumbull Street in the Fort Trumbull peninsula....

"That would be like we're going backwards," said [Jay] Wheeler, president of the East Willetts Neighborhood Association.

In the mid-1990s, residents of the homes and businesses that used to be in the Fort Trumbull neighborhood before it was razed by the New London Development Corp. complained repeatedly to the city about eye-burning odors from the plant. Some of the complainants engaged in dramatic stunts to make their point, donning gas masks, painting anti-odor slogans on buildings, dumping chicken manure in the City Hall elevator and parking a truck full of manure outside City Hall while councilors were inside deliberating the next year's budget....

In 1995, the city undertook a $2 million project to correct the odor problems. Then, in 1998, just as Pfizer Inc. was poised to begin building its $150 million office complex on Pequot Avenue next door to the sewage plant, the state awarded New London $7 million for further odor-control upgrades.

Rest here. Reason on Kelo here.

(Thanks to Bob Ewing for the tip.)

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  • ||

    Kelo Neighborhood Stinks. Literally.

    Yeah, well, welcome to New London.

  • Paul||

    Another neighborhood property owner, who asked not to be named, said he's noticed foul odors wafting around his doorstep for the past month or so.

    It's just the mayor walking around, looking for new properties to steal.

  • stuartl||

    Another neighborhood property owner, who asked not to be named, said he's noticed foul odors wafting around his doorstep for the past month or so.

    That sulphorous smell is just the devil, hiding in eminent domain's details.

  • ||

    Damn New London, slow down. Don't appreciate those tangible benefits so fast. It is making my head spin.
    /sarcasm

    BTW, New London, I will never visit your town. Even if you were to put the Pink Floyd Hall of Fame there, I would not visit. And since it smell like shit, I guess you don't have to worry about too many other visiting either.

  • hmm||

    The turd laundry is supposed to stink.

    Is "sewage treatment plant " a euphemism for city hall?

  • justinslot||

    This reminds me of the local eminent domain shenanigans in my area, earlier mentioned here. The Pennsauken Mart was torn down in 2006; three years later it is still an empty gravel field. But new apartments are still coming soon!

  • Rich||

    > But new apartments are still coming soon!

    Like we said: Imminent domain.

  • Cabeza de Vaca||

    "dumping chicken manure in the City Hall elevator and parking a truck full of manure outside City Hall while councilors were inside deliberating the next year's budget..."

    Every year around Christmas time someone would dump a truck load of hog manure in the gravel parking lot of a company I use to work for. We assumed it was one of many disgruntled former employees. The hazmat crew would come out in full gear & try to suck it all up. Being a gravel parking lot they could never get it all though. Come spring time it would smell god awful & get all over your car & shoes.

  • ||

    The real reason for the unpleasant olfactory experiences of New Londoners:

    the rent seeking swine, otherwise known as General Dynamics and Lockheed Martin.

  • jtuf||

    Now that Kelo vs New London is the law of the land, I'm not buying a house in the US. It's just not worth paying that much money for something that can be seized for no good reason.

  • jtuf||

    I've noticed that much of the excess housing stock in the recent market collapse got bought by Canadians. I hope they read the fine print on US land rights before buying.

  • hmm||

    There's a solution to eminent domain. It moves roughly 2000+ feet per second. Of course you have to follow the process through to its end you get a new 8X8 domain after solving the problem. But at least you might feel a little better.

  • Tim Cavanaugh||

    How much of the project ended up getting built? I believe the Pfizer piece was completed prior to the ruling in Kelo but that investors had begun to lose interest in other pieces at that time. I've heard a rumor that things haven't been so hot in the real estate market since then. Did any of the rest of the redev project materialize?

  • Phil||

    "It's just the mayor walking around, looking for new properties to steal."

    I think Paul deserves some kind of prize for this. It's comedic gold, falling under the category of "it's funny 'cause it's true."

  • Kirk Kinder||

    New London is reaping what they sow. I am glad to see that plan blow up in their face. I hope their tax revenues have dropped precipitously and they can't afford to clean up the sewage system. Serves them right.

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