Great news from New Jersey today as the libertarian legal aces at the Institute for Justice scored a major victory against eminent domain abuse. From IJ's press release:
"At long last, we can get our homes, lives and neighborhood back," said Lori Vendetti, who owns one of the homes across the street from the house her parents bought more than 40 years ago—a home where her mother still resides. "I am so glad my father and the other seniors in the neighborhood were able to live out their days in their homes, but I wish they could have been here to see this wonderful conclusion." Lori's father, Carmen Vendetti, passed away in June of this year while still battling to protect the home the former truck driver built for his family.
Under the terms of the agreement announced today, the city must dismiss the eminent domain actions filed against the MTOTSA homeowners in 2005. (MTOTSA is an acronym for the streets Marine Terrace, Ocean Terrace and Seaview Avenue, the neighborhood targeted for eminent domain for private gain.) Just as important, the order also provides that the city is barred from taking the homes in the future under the current or any subsequent redevelopment plan. The agreement further provides that the homeowners can take advantage of tax abatements, just as the city-designated developer was permitted to do, for reinvesting in their properties. The city is also paying a portion of the attorneys' fees for the homeowners.