Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Robin Hood in reverse

It’s been called the largest eminent-domain case in the nation. And now the situation in Riviera Beach has caught the attention of people clear across America.

City leaders want to move about 6,000 residents, tear down their homes and use the emptied 400-acre site to build a waterfront yachting and residential complex for the well-to-do. The goal, Mayor Michael D. Brown said during a public meeting in September, is to "forever change the landscape" in this municipality of about 32,500 mostly black and blue-collar folks. The $1-billion plan, local leaders have said, should generate jobs and haul Riviera Beach's economy out of the doldrums.

Opponents, however, call the plan a government-sanctioned land grab that benefits private developers and the wealthy.

Read the Los Angeles Times story here. And check out O’Blog’s post here.

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I think it won't be long before we see something like this in Orlando. An article in today’s Orlando Sentinel reveals that at least one developer is buying residential homes in Parramore with the intent to build mixed-use developments. But what happens when he runs into one or more hold-outs who don't want to sell their homes? The folks in Riviera Beach know.

 
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