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Supreme Court of the United States
February 22, 2005, Argued ; June 23, 2005, Decided
[*472] [**2658] Justice Stevens delivered the opinion of the Court.
In 2000, the city of New London approved a development plan that, in the words of the Supreme Court of Connecticut, was "projected to create in excess of 1,000 jobs, to increase tax and other revenues, and to revitalize an economically distressed city, including its downtown and waterfront areas." 268 Conn. 1, 5, 843 A.2d 500, 507 (2004). In assembling the land needed for this project, the city's [****6] development agent has purchased property from willing sellers and proposes to use the power of eminent domain to acquire the remainder of the property from unwilling owners in exchange for just compensation. The question presented is whether the city's proposed disposition of this property qualifies as a "public use" within the meaning of the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution. 1
The city of New London (hereinafter City) sits at the junction of the Thames River and the Long Island Sound in southeastern Connecticut. Decades of economic decline led a state agency in 1990 to designate the City a "distressed municipality." In 1996, the Federal Government closed the Naval Undersea Warfare Center, which had been located in the Fort [****7] Trumbull area of the City and had employed over 1,500 people. In 1998, the City's unemployment rate was nearly double that of the State, and its population of just under 24,000 residents was at its lowest since 1920.
These conditions prompted state and local officials to target New London, and [**2659] particularly its Fort Trumbull area, for economic revitalization. To this end, respondent New London Development Corporation (NLDC), a private nonprofit entity established some years earlier to assist the City in planning economic development, was reactivated. In January 1998, the State authorized a $5.35 million bond issue to support the NLDC's planning activities and a $10 million bond issue toward the creation of a Fort Trumbull State Park. In February, the pharmaceutical company Pfizer Inc. announced that it would build a $300 million research facility on a site immediately adjacent to Fort Trumbull; local planners hoped that Pfizer would draw new business to the area, thereby serving as a catalyst to the area's rejuvenation. After receiving initial approval from the city council, the NLDC continued its planning activities and held a series of neighborhood meetings to educate the public [****8] about the process. [***448] In May, the city council authorized the NLDC to formally submit its plans to the relevant state agencies for review. 2 Upon obtaining state-level approval, the NLDC [*474] finalized an integrated development plan focused on 90 acres of the Fort Trumbull area.
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
545 U.S. 469 *; 125 S. Ct. 2655 **; 162 L. Ed. 2d 439 ***; 2005 U.S. LEXIS 5011 ****; 10 A.L.R. Fed. 2d 733; 35 ELR 20134; 60 ERC (BNA) 1769; 18 Fla. L. Weekly Fed. S 437
SUSETTE KELO, et al., Petitioners v. CITY OF NEW LONDON, CONNECTICUT, et al.
Subsequent History: US Supreme Court rehearing denied by Kelo v. New London, 545 U.S. 1158, 126 S. Ct. 24, 162 L. Ed. 2d 922, 2005 U.S. LEXIS 5331 (U.S., Aug. 22, 2005)
Prior History: ON WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE SUPREME COURT OF CONNECTICUT.
Kelo v. City of New London, 268 Conn. 1, 843 A.2d 500, 2004 Conn. LEXIS 54 (2004)
public use, public purpose, cases, condemnation, economic development, Parcel, eminent domain, take property, eminent domain power, development plan, private property, private party, benefits, properties, deference, courts, neighborhood, blighted, limits, private use, incidental, just compensation, public benefit, planning, transfer of property, governmental powers, original meaning, redevelopment, transfers, words
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