Businesses may suffer in Oklahoma Redevelopment Project
The Oklahoma City Council voted nearly unanimously to blight a massive 692 acre area south of downtown. The City hopes to develop the area into, among other things, a downtown park and convention center. The project may use eminent domain powers to acquire residential and commercial properties. At least one business owner has expressed concern that the project could put him out of business. This raises the recurring issue in eminent domain that the compensation provided as “just compensation” to small business owners frequently is insufficient to allow a business to relocate. Such businesses face the choice of either going out of business or spending their own money to stay afloat. In essence, these business owners are being forced to subsidize the projects they are being condemned for. Reforms are needed across the country to expand the notion of “just compensation” to mean full indemnity which would allow for owners to get compensation for the cost to replace their property, for relocation costs and for business losses.
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