Eminent domain occurs when government takes private property. The Constitution requires that government pay "just compensation" to the owner when eminent domain is exercised.
What do you call it when government takes away the use of private property, but leaves the title in the name of the property owner? The Constitution makes no provision for this function of government, but government is exercising this function with increasing regularity and severity.
The function is called "comprehensive planning"; in reality, it is social engineering...
This resolution in White County will empower government to take away the use of 70 percent of the land of a private owner. The owner must continue to pay taxes on 100 percent of the property, but may use only 30 percent...
Ownership means "to have power over, to control the use of" property. This White County resolution takes away the "power to control the use of" private property and places this power in the hands of an unelected "community development director or designee." The only difference between this abuse of governmental power and eminent domain is that the landowner is forced to continue to pay taxes for the privilege of letting someone else dictate how the property may be used or not used.
There was a time when the term "social engineering" was used to describe a primary feature of communism; it was a term abhorred by Americans. Comprehensive planning is social engineering dressed up in a new name. The White County resolution is a classic example of how comprehensive planning ignores the very principles of freedom upon which this nation was built.
"Government is best when it governs least," is a principle proven through two centuries of development in America. This idea has been abandoned now in favor of the notion that government knows best how every American should live.
"Government should not interfere in free markets," is another principle that went out the window some time ago... Comprehensive planning, in general, puts government in the driver's seat by virtually controlling the real estate and development market.
The fact is government, with all its planning professionals, cannot hold a candle to a free market in which individuals, in pursuit of their own interests, forge progress forward. Mistakes are made, to be sure, in a free market, but a free market is self-correcting. A government-planned society is neither self-correcting nor corrected by government. Mistakes are compounded by self-preserving bureaucracies, supported by taxes extracted from the market place. Eventually and inevitably, planned societies must collapse under the weight of their own administrative and enforcement bureaucracies.
The more government exercises its power to control, the less freedom there is in what once was known as the land of the free.
WorldNetDaily: Eminent domain by another name