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CRC Column

The right to criticize government is also an obligation to know what you are talking about. 
-Lent Upson, 1st Executive Director of CRC  

Government Planning Issues

Planning and Urban Renewal

Planning, general literature

Regional and County Planning

State Planning

City and Municipal Planning

Report 310-9, pdf File Planning And Economic Development Under The Detroit Charter, (Prof. John E. Mogk, WSU) Describes the provisions in the City Charter, the lack of compliance, the Charter provision deficiencies, and the effects that the current system has on the city ( September 93 ) 8 pages [46,153 bytes]

Urban Renewal - Relocation

CC 906, Detroit Ballot Issues: Proposition X -- Increase in School Operating Millage; Proposition S -- $3.4 million, new fire stations and modernization; Proposition T -- $12.2 million, public lighting; Proposition U -- $17.9 million, Recreation and Zoo; Proposition V -- $12.1 million, urban renewal; Proposition W -- $7.5 million, police - 2 new precinct stations ( October 78 ) 3 pages


Article X -- Property
Report 360-13 ( September 2010 ) 4 pages

The Citizens Research Council of Michigan has released the thirteenth in a series of papers focusing on state constitutional issues. CRC is examining the state's constitution in anticipation of this November's vote on whether Michigan should convene a constitutional convention. This paper focuses on Article X of the 1963 Constitution - Property.

Article X has remained largely unchanged since adoption of the 1963 Constitution. The 2006 amendment of Section 2, dealing with eminent domain, has been the only amendment to Article X.

Eminent domain ranks as one of the governmental powers most likely to create sentiments of expanded government. The perceived abuse of that power-when governments use of that power was permitted to extend to economic development-resulted in a 2006 constitutional amendment curtailing such uses.

A constitutional convention could examine the issue of eminent domain and the difficulty of balancing the legitimate need for government taking with the protection of property owners rights. Changes that create more protections for property owners could make it more difficult and more expensive for governments to exercise eminent domain. Some might attempt to lessen the cost to governments in exercising eminent domain without creating additional opportunities for its use in economic development. Many might feel that it is too soon to judge whether the 2006 amendment created a proper balance and suggest it should be given more time as is.

"Nothing in Article X has become obsolete nor in violation of provisions in the U.S. Constitution," said Eric Lupher, CRC's Director of Local Affairs. "Proposal 2006-4 received overwhelming support from the voters as a tool to end the perceived abuse of eminent domain. Voters might be concerned about protecting provisions recently amended to the Constitution when they are considering the need for a constitutional convention."

Proposal 2006-05: Eminent Domain
Report 342 ( September 2006 ) 32 pages

The Citizens Research Council has released its analysis of the proposed constitutional amendment regarding the use of eminent domain. At the November 7, 2006, general election Michigan voters will be presented with a proposal to amend Article X, Section 2 of the 1963 Michigan Constitution.

In part, this proposed amendment is about ending the uses of eminent domain in which private property is condemned for transfer to a private entity for the purposes of economic development or the enhancement of tax revenues. It would adopt by reference the three-part standard of the County of Wayne v. Hathcock ruling defining when eminent domain is permissible to transfer property to a private entity.

The Hathcock decision said the transfer of condemned property to a private entity may be appropriate where:

The proposed amendment goes further than simply placing the Hathcock standards in the Constitution so they may not be undone by future court rulings. The amendment would require governments to provide compensation at least equal to 125 percent of a residential property’s fair market value. The proposed amendment would shift the burden of proof that the taking is for a public use from the owner objecting to the taking to the government proposing the taking. Finally, Proposal 2006-04 protects against future legislative actions or judicial decisions that would reduce the rights, grants, or benefits afforded to property owners.

Proposal 2006-04: Eminent Domain
Memo 1081 ( September 2006 ) 6 pages

Summarizes the analysis of the proposed constitutional amendment regarding the use of eminent domain in CRC Report #342

CC 980, pdf File Eminent Domain (The Condemnation of Private Property) in Michigan Examined the constitutional, statutory, and judicial underpinnings of eminent domain in Michigan. ( February 89 ) 6 pages

Zoning & Subdivision Controls




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Last Updated September 15, 2010