This is an issue that flies way under the radar of the local news, but any of us could wake up one day to find the city wanting to take our land and give it to someone else.
The Hollywood and Vine project - which on the face of it could be a very good project for the area - apparently needs the city to use its power of eminent domain to seize land cheap from local businesses. Some of these businesses have been in existense for years.
Traditionally, eminent domain has been used by government to seize private land for specific public purposes. For example, building a road, bridge, post office, school, etc. But local municipalities, emboldened by a recent Supreme Court decision, are taking property often to transfer them to more politically well connected developers.
The situation has become so alarming, that the Federal Government is investigating several redevelopment projects in Los Angeles. In addition to the Hollywood and Vine project, they're looking at the seizure of a furniture manufacturing plant in South LA - to be sold by the City to another furniture manufacturer - and the taking a shopping center in South Central to be transfered to another shopping center developer.
The Castle Coalition is an organization that works to fight eminent domain abuse nationally and details the story of one business about to be destroyed by this project.
Councilman Eric Garcetti announced the approval of the project, which included a deal involving the socialist leaning "Los Angeles Alliance for A New Economy." The deal included the paying of "greenmail" to so called "funds" that benefit the "community" as well as the usual deals with the local unions politicians like Garcetti are beholden to. Of course the Alliance for a New Economy apparently cares nothing about the folks contributing to the old economy they're putting out of work. But that's another topic.
I am all for the Hollywood and Vine project. But let the developers negotiate in good faith with the property owners in order to gain the land they need. Lets not send in city thugs on our dime to evict otherwise law abiding folks who've been contributing to the well being of the community for a long time.