Eminent domain restrictions proposed

? Two Lawrence-area legislators have proposed legislation to restrict governments’ eminent domain powers to take private property.

“It is imperative that Kansas send a loud and clear signal that the rights of private property owners will not be bulldozed by private developers,” said Rep. Tom Holland, a Baldwin Democrat, whose district includes parts of south Lawrence.

He was joined by Rep. Ann Mah, D-Topeka, whose district includes southwestern Douglas County.

Their bill would prohibit the state, a city, county or other Kansas governmental entity from acquiring private property by condemnation for a private business development or use. The bill includes an exception for blighted properties.

The measure is needed, the legislators said, in response to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in a Connecticut case that allowed a city to condemn homes for private business development.