It was not long ago that when business owners heard about new development in their area, they greeted it with glee. Thanks to the abuse of eminent domain in Missouri, and the authority of local governments to decide that some types of businesses are better than others, that is not always the case any more. Today’s Post-Dispatch has an article about the public previews of the proposed bridge over the Mississippi. Check out this unfortunately valid concern from a nearby businessman (emphasis added):
Kevin Minden studied a map of the future Mississippi River bridge, looking for clues as to how it might affect his engine rebuilding shop.
One of the connector ramps will run a few blocks from his building, which has him concerned that the bridge might lead to a development boom. Minden fears losing his land to a developer.
"Everything in that area is old," Minden said. "What are they wanting people to see when they drive across?"
He fears a development boom! He should be praying for one to increase the value of his business; I hope his fears prove false, but they are certainly valid. There are numerous examples of these types of eminent domain takings throughout our state. Our former editor, Tim Lee, wrote the defining study about the abuse of eminent domain in Missouri, and I encourage you all to check it out if you have not already. Hopefully, Missouri will return to property laws that don’t make property owners fear improvements.