California Eminent Domain Reform Ballot Measure Turns in Signatures

Diverse Coalition Seeks to End Abusive Seizure of Private Property

Nov 20, 2007, 00:00 ET from Californians for Property Rights Protection

    SACRAMENTO, Calif., Nov. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Californians for Property
 Rights Protection announced today that they are submitting more than one
 million signatures to qualify the California Property Owners and Farmland
 Protection Act (CPOFPA) for the June 2008 ballot. This eminent domain
 reform measure will stop government from taking homes, family farms, small
 business and places of worship and giving the land to other private
     "We are submitting this ballot measure to prevent government from
 snatching private property from unwilling sellers to benefit wealthy and
 politically connected developers," said former Senator Jim Nielsen and
 chairman of the California Alliance to Protect Private Property Rights.
 "California law needs to be changed to protect all California property
 owners from eminent domain abuse."
     "Our members have worked hard to achieve their piece of the American
 Dream," said California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce Chairman Ken Macias.
 "Hispanic business owners deserve private property protections. This
 initiative is the only measure that will appear on the June ballot that
 protects our members from eminent domain abuse."
     "California's economy and jobs are dependent on the success of small
 business owners," said National Federation of Independent Business
 California executive director John Kabateck. "California laws need to be
 changed to prohibit the kind of eminent domain abuse that allows government
 to profit by seizing homes and small businesses and giving it to
 politically connected developers."
     "Eminent domain abuse is putting California family farms and ranches at
 risk," said Linden farmer Kenny Watkins, second vice president of the
 California Farm Bureau Federation. "We need this measure to protect against
 sprawl and assure that farmland stays in private ownership, so it can
 continue to provide the food and farm products that Californians need."
     "Simply stated, our ballot measure protects all California property
 owners," said Howard Jarvis Taxpayer Association president Jon Coupal.
 "Never again will government use eminent domain to destroy a person's home
 and livelihood."
     Since the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark Kelo v. New London case two
 years ago, California is not among the more than 40 states that have
 reformed their eminent domain laws. Today, public agencies continue to
 seize private property from unwilling sellers for private projects that
 benefit wealthy and politically connected developers.
     According to independent analysis of the CPOFPA by the Institute for
 Justice, a non-profit organization that litigated the Kelo case,
 "California is one of the biggest abusers of eminent domain in the
 country." They added, "While CPOFPA would stop governments and
 redevelopment agencies from taking property for private uses, traditional
 uses of eminent domain for public use will not be affected."
     The ballot measure does the following:
      -- Prohibits government from using eminent domain for private purposes,
         while allowing eminent domain to be used for legitimate public uses
         like building roads, schools, other government buildings and water
      -- Provides procedural reforms and full compensation when property is
         seized for public purposes, including lifting the current $10,000 cap
         on reimbursable expenses associated with legal and other expenses for
         those property owners displaced by eminent domain.
      -- To protect the State's food supply and open space, prohibits public
         agencies from seizing family farms, ranches and other property in
         order to acquire water rights or acquire farmland land to further
         enable urban sprawl.
      -- Prohibits government from setting the price at which property owners
         sell or lease their property, but does not affect tenants currently
         living in rent-regulated communities.
     The California Property Owners and Farmland Protection Act is sponsored
 by the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association (, the
 California Farm Bureau Federation ( the California
 Alliance to Protect Private Property Rights
 ( The ballot measure has been endorsed by
 NFIB, the Hispanic Chambers of Commerce, the Black Chamber of Commerce and
 a diverse coalition of taxpayer, faith-based groups and good government
 organizations. For more information regarding the CPOFPA measure, visit

SOURCE Californians for Property Rights Protection