Monday, October 03, 2005

Eminent Domain in Riviera Beach

Chris from Jacksonville Beach sent me this link from the Washington Times. All I know about Riviera Beach is that stretch along Route 1 between West Palm Beach and Jupiter, which is alternately quiet residential and near-slums, but probably affordable.

This would be the kind of eminent domain taking covered in the Kelo ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court. The project, if undertaken, would displace about 6,000 local residents, predominantly black, to build a billion-dollar waterfront yachting and housing complex.

Viking Inlet Harbor Properties LLC spokesman Peter Frederiksen, the proposed developer, said the plan "is to create a working waterfront," adding that the project could take 15 years and that "we would only use condemnation as a last resort."

Viking has said it will pay at least the assessed values of homes and businesses it buys.

Other plans for the project include creation of a basin for megayachts with high-end housing, retail and office space, a multilevel garage for boats, a 96,000-square-foot aquarium and a manmade lagoon.

Mr. Brown said Riviera Beach wants to highlight its waterfront.

"We have the best beach and the most attractive redevelopment property anywhere in the United States," he said.

Mr. Frederiksen said people with yachts need a place to keep and service them. "And we want to develop a charter school for development of marine trades."
[Emphasis added.]

It is NOT the same kind of taking as is being proposed if TAMPOA isn't willing to negotiate over Southard St.

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