Streetcar Plan Shows Dark Side of Eminent Domain

By Cynthia Ward: 

California’s redevelopment agencies may be dead, but using the power of government to take private property, by eminent domain if need be, to profit the chosen few in the name of “economic development” is alive and well.

The ghost of Kelo haunts Anaheim, in the not so cleverly disguised form of the ARC or Anaheim Rapid Connection fixed guideway, a streetcar that transports resort visitors and employees at public expense.

As it turns out, this public project runs over some private property.


Not only has the Anaheim City Council voted 3-2 for a project while blasting past the Mayor’s objections that should have created concern, the Orange County Transportation Authority has the nerve to call this a mandate from voters who demanded this type of project for the benefit of all when approving Measure M. The OCTA board voted Monday morning to move forward with the project while Directors John Moorlach, Jeff Lalloway and Matt Harper opposed the boondoggle. 

Republican power-hitter Jon Fleishman already called this “subsidizing the Mouse,” a view shared by transportation expert Randall O’Toole. Over at the Antiplanner, O’Toole called it “a massive subsidy to Disney,” pointing out that “Disney is reportedly enthused about the project, since otherwise it might have to provide its own buses.”

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