Life's Better Ideas

Occasional links to, and comments on, ideas that I think will make this a better world, and remarks about things that need fixing, too.

Location: Denver, Colorado, United States

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Save Our Homes

With the recent Kelo decision (pdf) by the US Supreme Court, which gave local governments the power to take any property for any use, perhaps it's time to amend the Colorado Constitution as follows:

Initiative to Amend the Colorado Constitution

Be it Enacted by the People of the State of Colorado

Article II of the Colorado Constitution is amended BY THE ADDITION OF A NEW SECTION to read:,


Ownership of property acquired through eminent domain proceedings shall remain with the acquiring district, or any other unit of government whose governing body is elected by the people, for not less than 20 years. The appraised value of property shall be a firm offer to purchase the property by the district issuing the appraisal and must, at the request of the property owner, be completed within 90 days.

--- end amendment ---

This will do two things: 1) Effectively prevent governments from handing over property to developers (they have to hold the property for 20 years) and 2) force them to appraise property below fair market values.

If you want to help collect signatures, let me know at daitken at tde dot com, subject: "Save Our Homes". We'll need 100,000. If we can find 10,000 home and business owners to get 10 signatures each, we'll have it done. You must be a registered voter to circulate and sign a petition, so register now (pdf) if you haven't already. We'll also need about $25,000 (wild a$$ guess) for petition printing and other costs. It's too late to do it in 2005 (petitions are due Aug 1st); we'll have to defer to next year. More election info from Colorado Secretary of State. Email addresses and contact information will be used only for SaveOurHomes purposes. This post is intended to judge the amount of support for this idea. If there is sufficient support we will likely proceed.

SCOTUS blog contains discussions by legal experts about Supreme Court decisions. Here's a Yahoo news story and one from worldnetdaily.


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