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SG-W:/ H.R. 2372

I didn't get this posting that I know of.  I think it's important.  Has the information about H.R. 2372 been posted?
----Original Message-----
From: DAVID ROSS <ROSS@nwf.org>
To: enviro-mich@great-lakes.net <enviro-mich@great-lakes.net>
Date: Monday, September 11, 2000 8:49 AM
Subject: E-M:/ MI ALERT on ANTI-SMART GROWTH "Takings" Bill

>Enviro-Mich message from "DAVID ROSS" <ROSS@nwf.org>
>This has been updated with additional Michigan specific information since
the last alert I sent on this:
>>>> Glenn Sugameli 09/07/00 02:25PM >>>
>CONTACT: GLENN SUGAMELI 202-797-6865 sugameli@nwf.org
>YOUR HELP IS NEEDED: PLEASE CONTACT Sen. Spencer Abraham [R-MI] (Capitol
Switchboard 202-224-3121) who is critical to the fate of a developer-drafted
federal "takings"/"property rights" bill that is designed to cripple local
smart growth, zoning, and planning.  On Sept. 14th, the Senate Judiciary
Committee plans to mark-up (vote on) the House passed bill, H.R. 2372, The
Private Property Rights Implementation Act.
>Sen.  Abraham is a key member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.  In the
last Congress, he voted for H.R. 1534 in Committee, as part of a 10-to-8
party line vote, and voted in favor of an unsuccessful attempt to break a
bi-partisan filibuster that killed the bill (S. 2271).  However, he
expressed federalism concerns that the Constitution prohibited the bill's
provisions that would allow "takings" claims against local governments to
skip state courts, and he is not a cosponsor of this year's companion Senate
bill, S. 1028, Judiciary Chairman Orrin Hatch's [R-UT] Citizens Access to
Justice Act.
>The developers' organization that originally wrote the bill finally
admitted that:  "This bill will be a hammer to the head of these [state and
local] bureaucracies," declared Jerry Howard, the chief lobbyist for the
National Association of Home Builders.  National Journal's CongressDailyAM
(March 14, 2000).  Big developers would use premature, costly federal
litigation as a hammer to coerce local communities into approving projects
that will harm nearby homeowners and the environment.
>>> It would allow developers to bypass local zoning procedures and state
courts and file premature federal lawsuits which unjustifiably claim that
local land use decisions amount to "takings" of private property without
just compensation.  To avoid lawsuits, small towns, counties and cities
would be forced to design and approve harmful projects for developers.
> >>The bill would undermine hundreds of popular local initiatives that
protect everyone by limiting and controlling growth, without "taking" any
property rights.  For example, state courts have rejected "takings"
challenges to smart growth limits and to controls on mining, factories,
liquor stores and other harmful activities in residential neighborhoods.
Representatives - March 16, 2000)
>Roll Call No. 55
>Michigan Delgation: Voting against final passage: Republican Ehlers, and
Democrats Stupak, Barcia, Stabenow, Kildee, Bonior, Levin, Rivers, Conyers,
Kilpatrick and Dingell
>Voting for: Republicans Hoekstra, Camp, Upton, Smith and Knollenberg
>Two Detroit Free Press Editorials
>   From: http://www.freepress.com/voices/editorials/etake7_20000307.htm
>                   Property Rights
>                   Bill would give developers too big an
>                   advantage
>                   March 7, 2000
>                   It isn't enough that Lansing is in the business of
>                   subverting local control these days; now Congress
>                   is getting into the act. This week the House
>                   Judiciary Committee is scheduled to take up a
>                   beast of a bill that purports to protect property
>                   rights but really strips ordinary people and small
>                   communities of their ability to control their own
>                   growth and future.
>                   Call it the Developers' Wildest Dreams Act, and
>                   you get some idea of the flavor of it. The bill
>                   would make a federal case -- literally -- out of
>                   every planning and zoning dispute. Forget the local
>                   appeal process; skip the state courts. If HR2372
>                   passes, every business owner or developer with a
>                   gripe gets to push local governments straight into
>                   an expensive federal court fight.
>                   Why is this so bad? Because local hearings are
>                   where ordinary people get to put in their two
>                   cents' worth about decisions that affect their
>                   property, safety, environment and quality of life.
>                   Sending every land use dispute into a distant
>                   federal court means only those who can afford
>                   lawyers are heard.
>                   Most people recognize that land ownership comes
>                   with reasonable restrictions. Zoning ensures that
>                   there won't be a topless bar or an adult video
>                   store next door to a school or church, or a landfill
>                   in the middle of a residential neighborhood.
>                   Communities adopt plans to balance growth and
>                   green space, the rights of one landowner against
>                   the rights of a community of owners.
>                   The so-called property rights bill would blow all
>                   that away. You don't have to look very far to see
>                   what its impact would be in metro Detroit. The
>                   most important land use decisions are made on the
>                   urban fringe, as small towns and townships try to
>                   cope with sprawl. Those are the very communities
>                   that can least afford a federal court fight and
>                   would feel most pressured to roll over for every
>                   developer who challenged them.
>                   Indeed, that's what the "property rights" bill is all
>                   about. It's the classic case of special interests
>                   writing their own bill and greasing its way through
>                   Congress over the objections of the real people it
>                   affects.
>      All content © copyright 2000 Detroit Free Press and may not be
republished without permission.
>See: http://www.freepress.com/voices/editorials/etake15_20000215.htm
>Detroit Free Press, Editorial, Takings Mistake: Congress shouldn't
undermine local control (Feb. 15, 2000)
>Takings Mistake
>                             Congress shouldn't undermine local
>                             control
>                             February 15, 2000
>                             In Washington, the House Judiciary Committee
>                             today is scheduled to consider one of the
>                             "takings" bills that pretend to protect
>                             rights. The bill, HR2372, is in fact an
>                             assault on local control and local taxpayers.
>                             The bill would do two bad things: It would
>                             developers, builders or landowners to go
>                             into federal court when they didn't like a
>                             by a planning board or other local government
>                             body. And it would encourage a spate of
>                             claims from people who argue their property
>                             values are unfairly reduced if they must
follow land
>                             use or environmental rules.
>                             The bill is really designed to scare local
>                             governments into rolling over anytime their
>                             use plans or efforts to protect wetlands or
>                             space are challenged. It also advances the
>                             that taxpayers should pay industry or
>                             for complying with laws to protect the public
>                             interest -- a proposition courts have
>                             rejected.
>                             Just as townships in Michigan and elsewhere
>                             becoming more sophisticated about working with
>                             responsible and creative developers to
>                             green space, floodplains and other natural
>                             features, the federal bill would knock the
pins out
>                             from under them, and hand power over to the
>                             rape-and-scrape gang.
>                             The bill, written by a home builders group and
>                             sponsored by Florida Republican Charles
>                             Canady, is a takings bill, all right. It takes
>                             local control, environmental protection and
>                             hope of sensible land use planning. The
>                             would do well to take it off the table and let
>                             communities determine their own character and
>                             future.
>Rep. James BARCIA, D-5th-MI, who voted for a similar bill (HR 1534) in the
last Congress, went to the House Floor and removed his name as a cosponsor
of this year's bill, HR 2372, and later voted against it on the Floor.
>Last Congress, Rep. Vern Ehlers R-3rd-MI was one of only 30 Republicans to
vote against HR 1534 and he voted against H.R. 2372 this year.
>Rep. John Conyers, Jr. D-14th, the senior Democrat on the House Judiciary
Comm., once again helped lead the fight against the bill
>For the vote, text of the bill and other info on H.R. 2372, Rep. Charles
Canady's [R-FL] "Private Property Rights Implementation Act" and the
companion Senate bill, Sen. Judiciary Chairman Orrin Hatch's [R-UT] S. 1028,
the Citizens Access to Justice Act, see THOMAS:
>For general background info see: http://www.nwf.org/nwf/takings/
>National Wildlife Federation's letter on HR 2372
>Please send me any feedback or media coverage.
>Glenn P. Sugameli
>National Wildlife Federation
>1400 16th Street, N.W., Suite 501
>Washington, D.C. 20036-2266
>FAX 202-797-6646
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