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E-M:/ Takings Action Alert



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Enviro-Mich message from "Scott" <smcewen@freeway.net>
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Takings Action Alert-- Please send all questions and responses to Glenn 
Sugameli with NWF at 202-797-6865 or sugameli@nwf.org.
_____________________________________________________________________

UPDATE: HOUSE JUDICIARY COMM. VOTE WED. MAR. 8
HOUSE FLOOR VOTE LIKELY the following week (week of March 13).

A federal "takings" / "property rights" bill (HR 2372) is moving rapidly 
through House committee to the House Floor.  A similar bill drafted by 
the National Assn. of Home Builders passed the House last Congress (HR 
1534).  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, CONTACT YOUR MEMBERS OF CONGRESS and 
FORWARD the Alert 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).


** High Priority **

URGENT      URGENT      URGENT      URGENT       URGENT

H.R. 2372, Rep. Canady's [R-FL] "Private Property Rights Implementation 
Act"(TAKINGS BILL) will be MARKED-UP and VOTED on by the Full HOUSE 
JUDICIARY COMMITTEE on WEDNESDAY, MARCH 8 and is likely to come to the 
Floor of the full House of Representatives the following week.

IT IS IMPORTANT THAT ALL HOUSE MEMBERS, INCLUDING KEY JUDICIARY 
COMMITTEE MEMBERS, HEAR FROM YOU ABOUT THIS MEASURE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. 
 PLEASE CONTACT YOUR HOUSE MEMBERS TODAY.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

WRITE or CALL your Representatives (WHETHER OR NOT THEY ARE on the
COMMITTEE) and write a letter to the Editor of your newspaper urging
opposition to HR 2372.

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.

For a list of House Judiciary Committee members go to: 
http://www.house.gov/judiciary/memb106.htm 

ALL REPRESENTATIVES SHOULD OPPOSE the TAKINGS 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, liquor licenses 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.

 >>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 41 state Attorneys General; the 
Clinton Administration; major religious denominations, including the US 
Catholic Conference, National Council of Churches of Christ and Jewish 
and Evangelical groups, and labor (AFSCME).  Conservation and 
environmental groups also strongly oppose H.R. 2372 because of its 
impact onsmart growth and other local initiatives to protect neighboring 
property and the environment. 

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 



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