Friday, September 09, 2005
Pull the other one: The much-maligned Kelo decision which eviscerated the Constitution's property protections wasn't supposed to have much of an effect here in California. Unlike some other states, California already prohibited cities, counties, school boards and other public entities from taking private property from one person in order to give it to another unless the property was "blighted."
But where there are wealthy private interests, there is a way.
Mossy Nissan is part of what is known as the Mile of Cars in National City. There is one car dealership after another. It's not a seedy part of town -- except apparently for Mossy Nissan. An edict has come down from on high at Nissan corporate that dealerships have to be nice and new. The Mossy's figured that it would cost them $3 million to bring their National City dealership up to snuff, but they don't want to spend that kind of money unless they own the land.
That's the rub. Someone else owns the land. Negotiations to buy the lot have apparently fallen through (depending on who you talk to), so Mossy went to the City Council and started the ball rolling to get their dealership declared "blighted" so the city could sell it to them for the price they'd like to pay. Otherwise they'll take their local sales tax dollars (about $1 million a year) and go elsewhere.
If National City goes through with this charade, they're asking for a lawsuit they're going to lose and any councilmember who votes for it should be tossed out of office on their rear. You probably shouldn't buy your next vehicle at Mossy either if this is the way they're going to behave.
I encourage you to read the entire article, because it's actually worse than I've described it, with public officials claiming they didn't know anything about it -- except for those pesky public records requests.