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  • Eminent Domain Update

    Posted by demimasque on July 27th, 2005 (All posts by )

    Despite the fact that the petition to build a hotel on the site of Justice Souter’s home in Weare, NH, originated as a publicity stunt, it’s not taken as just a joke anymore. Beverly Wang reports:

    … in a state where people fiercely protect their right to local control over land and government, many said the nuisance is Souter’s just deserts. A recent University of New Hampshire poll reported 93 percent of state residents oppose the taking of private land through eminent domain for private development.

    “It’s something you really don’t want to screw with around here,” said Charles Meany, Weare’s code enforcement officer.

    He thinks the hotel idea is “ludicrous” and doubts whether Clements will be able to satisfy requirements to prove the economic necessity of building a hotel on Souter’s land.

    But Clements has his share of local supporters, including David Archambault, who runs a go-cart track near Souter’s home.

    “What this is doing I think is wonderful, because he’s getting a point across to all these people that they’re getting too much power,” Archambault said.

    Robin Ilsley, who makes syrup on a family farm about two miles from Souter’s place, thought the justice brought the controversy on himself. “It was a pretty stupid ruling,” she said.

    Even her mother, who watched Souter grow up, is unsympathetic.

    “I like David very much, but I don’t like his ideas,” said Winnie Ilsley, 77, who runs a doll museum at her farm. “I just don’t think it’s fair,” she said of the New London decision.

    And the hotel?

    “Let ’em build — but I don’t think it’s going to happen,” she said.

    Sounds like a challenge to me!

    (Hat-tip: Chrenkoff)

    [Cross-posted at Between Worlds]