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Eminent Domain Use and Abuse in Long Branch, New Jersey

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  1. Introduction
  2. Refusal to sell to the city
  3. The resort town of Long Branch
  4. Long Branch's decline
  5. Furlong's group
  6. The political process to pass the plan
  7. The clearest outcome of Long Branch's Master Plan
  8. Feedback from a minority of Long Branch residents
  9. Conclusion
  10. Works cited

Eminent domain is, at its essence, the power of a governmental entity to take private real estate for public use, with or without the permission of its owner. The right is most often exercised as a last resort, when all other avenues of negotiations have failed, to acquire land for the construction of highways, Post Offices, hospitals, or the like. The concept of eminent domain was born in British common law, and was adopted by the Thirteen Colonies before the Revolutionary War. Upon the drafting of the U.S. Constitution, eminent domain was limited by the Fifth Amendment, which states ?nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.' This is a tacit recognition of a preexisting power to take private property for public use, rather than a grant of new power.2 Indeed, the Supreme Court found that eminent domain ?appertains to every independent government. It requires no constitutional recognition; it is an attribute of sovereignty.?3 Thus American states, cities, school districts, and other governmental and quasi-governmental entities are afforded the rights and privileges of eminent domain.

[...] To the dismay of private land owners across the country, the high court ruled in the town's favor, drastically expanding the standard by which eminent domain could be applied by states, cities, and towns across the country.7 The residents and governmental officials of Long Branch, New Jersey found themselves in the middle of this heated political climate as they waged their own legal battle over eminent domain. As the shore town's Mayor sought to reclaim a piece of the city's glory days as the respite of choice for rich and famous, residents were horrified at the prospect of losing their homes after years of residency. [...]


[...] Jones, D. ?Eminent Domain: A Constitutional Threat.? ProggressiveU.org. . Kamin, Arthur. ?Long Branch Journal; Mayoral Campaign Threatens to Divide City.? NYTimes, May . Kelo v. City of New London U.S (2005). Last, Jonathan. ?Razing New Jersey.? Weekly Standard, February . ?Law.com dictionary entry: ?eminent domain'?. Law.com. . ?Long Branch, New Jersey.? Wikipedia.org. . ?Long Branch Our New Jersey Shore: A Short History.? New Jersey Shore.com. . [...]


[...] New York magazine touted Long Branch as an ideal spot for Manhattanites to get a ?dose of sand and and still get home for dinner.35 New Jersey Bride magazine called it shore's hippest spot for tying the knot.?36 A final sign of the city's comeback is its sale of 111,125 beach badges this past summer, nearly twice as many as last year, and 284 percent more than in 2000.37 And crowds are still expected to stroll down the boardwalk this fall. [...]

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