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E-M:/ UPDATED ALERT: MARCH 1 House Comm. TAKINGS VOTE



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Enviro-Mich message from Patty Cantrell <patty@mlui.org>
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THANKS to U.S. Rep. James Barcia (D-By City-5th-MI) who recently removed
his name as a cosponsor of the federal "takings" bill (HR 2372) discussed
below.

As you will read, however, the bill is still alive and could reach the
House floor. We need to:
1-  contact House Judiciary Members now (details below)
2 - be prepared to call on other Michigan Reps to oppose HR 2372 on the floor.

PC

>
>The Takings Issues List Serve.
>-------------------
>
>A federal "takings" / "property rights" bill is moving rapidly through
House committee to the House floor.  A similar bill passed the House last
Congress. It is designed to cripple the ability of local governments to
control land use, and engage in zoning, planning, and smart growth.  Please
read the Alert below and forward it to others. If you did not receive this
Alert directly, contact Glenn Sugameli at NWF sugameli@nwf.org to get
future takings alerts through my light-traffic, email list dedicated to the
takings issue (you can unsubscribe at any time).
>
>Subject:   ALERT: H. Judiciary Comm. to Vote on Takings Bill (HR 2372)
>Author: "Glenn Sugameli" <SUGAMELI@nwf.org>
>Date:           2/17/2000 
>
>** High Priority **
>
>URGENT      URGENT      URGENT      URGENT       URGENT
>
>H.R. 2372, "The Private Property Rights Implementation Act" (TAKINGS
>BILL) WILL BE MARKED-UP AND VOTED on by the Full HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE
ON WEDNESDAY, MARCH 1.
>
>KEY Undecided Committee Members apparently include:
>
>Republicans: 
>
>Rep. David Vitter, R-1st LA
>Rep. Edward A. Pease, R-7th-IN 	
>Rep. Bill McCollum, R-8th-FL (running for Senator so any FL calls would help)
>Rep. George W. Gekas, R-17th-PA 
>Rep. Howard Coble, R-6th-NC	
>Rep. James E. Rogan, R-27th-CA
>Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-6th-VA		
>Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-6th-AL 
>
>Rep. Bachus has very serious "legal and philosophical" problems with the
bill -- he believes that land use decisions should be made at the local
level "where the people have more influence."
>
>Democrats:
>
>Rep. Bobby Scott, D- 3rd-VA
>Rep. Rick Boucher, D- 9th-VA
>
>Rep. Steven R. Rothman, D- 9th-NJ is the only remaining Judiciary
Committee Democratic COSPONSOR of HR 2372). 
>
>Constituents should urge Rep. Rothman to follow the lead of Rep. James
Barcia, D-5th-MI and withdraw as a cosponsor.
>Rep. Barcia, who voted for a similar bill in the last Congress, went to
the House Floor and removed his name as a cosponsor of HR 2372.
>   
>WHAT YOU CAN DO:
>
>PLEASE CALL MEMBERS ON THE HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE 
>(Capitol Switchboard 202-224-3121) 
>ASAP AND URGE THEM TO ATTEND THE MARK-UP and to OPPOSE THE BILL BECAUSE:
>
>>>The bill would harm the property rights of neighbors.  It attempts to
>allow developers and companies to file premature property rights
>"takings" federal court lawsuits that bypass state courts and local
>zoning and land use dispute resolution procedures.
>
>>>The bill would empower big developers to use the threat of premature,
>costly federal court litigation as a club to coerce small communities
>into approving projects that will harm neighboring homeowners and the
>environment.
>
>>>The bill would apply to a wide variety of threatened and actual
>federal court lawsuits.  For example, state courts have already rejected
>unjustifiable "takings" challenges to limits on hazardous waste
>landfills, corporate hog farms and adult businesses.
>
>>>The impact would be especially severe on the 18,775 (48%) of cities
>and towns that have less than 1,000 residents and average annual
>revenues of $186,664. Source: Latest available US Census Bureau data
>(1992). The costs of defending unjustified federal takings litigation
>would be intimidating: lawsuits would rob funding from essential local
fire, police, and environmental protection services.
>
>>>Enactment of this bill would certainly have the exact opposite result
>from what supporters claim. Inevitably, it would result in expensive,
>lengthy procedural litigation that would delay decisions on whether a
>compensable taking has occurred.  Federal courts would first have to: 1)
>decide threshold issues of whether the Constitution allows avoiding a
>final administrative decision and bypassing state courts, and 2) would
>have to interpret many undefined terms in the bill.  Recently reaffirmed
Supreme Court holdings are clear: the Constitution requires that premature
federal claims filed under the bill against localities would ultimately
have to be dismissed or transferred to state court.
>
>>>Opponents include: national organizations representing the federal
courts, Counties, Cities,  Mayors, Towns and Townships, State Governments,
State Legislatures, and 40 state Attorneys General; and  major religious
denominations, including the US Catholic Conference,  National Council of
Churches of Christ and Jewish and Evangelical groups.  Conservation and
environmental groups also strongly oppose H.R. 2372 because of its impact
on smart growth and other local initiatives to protect neighboring property
and the environment.  
>
>for a list of House Judiciary Committee members go to:
>http://www.house.gov/judiciary/memb106.htm 
>
>For Cosponsors, text of the bills and other info on H.R. 2372 and the
companion Senate bill, Sen. Orrin Hatch's [R-Ut] S. 1028, see THOMAS: 
>http://thomas.loc.gov/ 
>
>Thanks and please send me any feedback you receive.
>
>--Glenn
>
>Glenn P. Sugameli
>Senior Counsel
>National Wildlife Federation
>1400 16th Street, N.W., Suite 501
>Washington, D.C. 20036-2266
>202-797-6865
>FAX 202-797-6646
>sugameli@nwf.org 
>www.nwf.org 
>


*************************************
Patty Cantrell
Public Trust Alliance Project Manager
MICHIGAN LAND USE INSTITUTE
P.O. Box 228, 845 Michigan Ave.
Benzonia, MI 49616

tel: 231-882-4723 ext. 18
fax: 231-882-7350 
e-mail: patty@mlui.org
internet: www.mlui.org


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