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Remember the West End

Rob says what happened to the West End in the 1950s - a city eager for new tax revenue hands an entire neighborhood over to a developer who puts up a banal collection of sterile high rises - should give us all pause following the Supreme Court's Kelo ruling:

... Time will tell, but autocratic municipal rulers may be undertaking massive urban renewal plans before you know it. Municipalities (at least in the Boston area) lose money on every new family that moves into town, due to the exorbitant cost of schooling the children. Towns thought of as wealthy around here are leaving their roads potholed and unpaved, for lack of funds because the schools ate them all up. Municipalities had been doing all they could to discourage new residential development, including enacting minimum lot sizes and moratoriums on teardowns. They also give tax breaks to seniors inclined to move out of town so that new children won't move in.

Now SCOTUS has handed these municipalities a new weapon in their fight to keep their budgets in line: the bulldozer. Simply bulldoze your poorest residents and get them out of town, and put in a giant box store instead. ...

Carpundit notes favorable Kelo utterances from the Boston Redevelopment Authority and City Council President Michael Flaherty (who wants to use the ruling to seize Fan Pier):

Let's shutter the BRA and vote out Michael Flaherty.



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