Navajo-Hopi Nations,Flagstaff & Winslow News
Thu, Aug. 05

Prop 207-Does is threaten AZ's eminent domain?

Prop 207 (Arizona's "Private Property Rights Protection Act") = Land Developer Protection under the theory of regulatory takings disguised as eminent domain protection.

 Maybe Arizona needs to reform eminent domain laws, but the ambiguous 207 creates consequences that go way too far, affecting in particular small towns and wildlife; and effectively freezing current land-use planning laws in place. 

 Voters in the states of WA, CA, and ID defeated the misleading 207-type measures this year in their states. Courts in NV and MT refused to even allow deceptive 207-type measures to make it to the election ballots.

 Each of these propositions might be worded slightly different, but all are still selling a similar smoke screen of eminent domain protection. Because of the wording of Arizona's Prop 207, land-use issues will be settled in court with developers and expensive lawyers. And because governments will not be able to pay the huge financial settlements to these land development companies, even normal everyday zoning laws will very likely be waived.

 And yes, along the way individual property owners will be protected from eminent domain - and perhaps experience of joy of living next to the unchecked development of casinos, power plants, quarries, landfills, big box stores, strip malls, prisons, shopping centers, etc, without the benefit of effective land-use planning and protection.

Prop 207 must be appealed and defeated in court.

And then Arizonans will have an opportunity to create a new proposition for the 2008 election - a prop that would effectively deal with eminent domain and fairly protect individual property rights.


Karl Winkler

Tucson, AZ

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