By Michael Edwards
Eminent Domain has been used throughout the nation to employ a technique whereby the State can request the sacrifice of personal property in the name of “the greater good.” Generally there has been some semblance of attempting to hide the collectivist nature of Eminent Domain by properly compensating landowners for their loss. However, a small town in New Jersey sets the stage for a new form of Eminent Domain where private land can be seized — in perpetuity — with zero compensation. Under the guise of environmentalism, the town of Kingwood is a prime example of a Communist-style land grab which is at the heart of a global move toward the restriction of personal property rights. [Image]
By diktat, Mayor Phillip Lubitz is spearheading the re-zoning of an area along Route 12 to preserve, “rural character and existing scenic views and vistas within and along the Route 12 Corridor.” Sounds noble, except for the fact that there has been no discussion of fair market compensation for land that will be seized. And Lubitz hasn’t stopped there; he has now proposed an amendment to the Solar Ordinance which will issue a permanent deed restriction on 50% of private land. This move not only violates the restrictions on Eminent Domain found in the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution, but it actually removes the economic potential of private landowners permanently and without compensation. Furthermore, it reduces the capacity of solar projects, which is a net negative on the environment.
The new proposal includes the classically Communist language: “to better serve the public interest.” However, such a wrongheaded approach, which not only steals assets from residents, but also penalizes both individual landowners as well as the economic potential of the community in which they live flies in the face of logic, as well as American values. As illustrated by Kingwood resident Adam Belle:
This would be like the governor signing a bill that would allow the state to immediately seize control of 50 percent of your assets like your checking and savings accounts, CDs, 401(k), IRA, stocks, bonds, etc. thus leaving you forever with no ability to use or profit from that portion of your investments. We would call that stealing and no one would stand for it, yet this is exactly what Mayor Lubitz is doing by signing this solar amendment…
[W]hen the committee adopted this change dropping economic production by 50 percent or more, they knew that solar developers would simply have to pull out, leaving Kingwood’s residents high and dry. What is mindboggling to me is that all of the sale or land lease profits along with all tax revenues from embracing clean renewable energy will no longer benefit anyone here in Kingwood, but rather it will immediately benefit our surrounding townships instead.
This is a precise display of criminalizing independence through regulation — a trend that we are seeing across the entire spectrum of American life, from FDA food and supplement control to excessive business licensing to Federal moves to steal land from states through “stewardship programs” such as Treasured Landscapes and other sweet-sounding propaganda designed to mask outright theft. In short, it is dictatorship through bureaucracy.
A land grab such as this one seems to have only one true goal, and it is the goal that is stated within the UN-directed sustainable development control mechanism Agenda 21. Adam Belle is quite correct to bluntly state that Kingwood township is bringing Communism to their small community — or, if one prefers: Collectivism. Land ownership is the primary source of freedom and wealth, while land theft is a hallmark of totalitarian countries that employ the use of “corridors” and “the greater public good” to seize private property and direct development only as the State sees fit — normally into the coffers of government-connected corporate interests. Sub categories of Agenda 21 include The Wildlands Project and its Orwellian-named counterpart, Smart Growth, both of which include an action plan to remove people and eliminate resource extraction from over 50% of America’s landscape. It is a move that above all encourages high-density development . . . whether it’s logical or not.
Kingwood will attempt to fight back and preserve its independence at a Township Committee Meeting at 7 p.m. tonight, May 5. Their call to action is succinctly stated:
We need to immediately repeal those parts of this amendment that are unethical, unconstitutional, and just plain unfair before it’s too late and we, the residents of Kingwood, lose this window of opportunity to benefit from clean renewable energy and having our taxes lowered at the same time.
Some 600 local governments have signed on to Agenda 21-style initiatives. Hopefully Kingwood can follow in the footsteps of Maryland County in being among the first to resist this collectivist model of land and wealth redistribution.