Sunday, July 15, 2007

A relatively good neighbor

Columbia University announced yesterday that it would not ask the state to use eminent domain to evict residents of 132 apartments in the 17-acre area of Harlem that it wants to move into.

The announcement, covering all the remaining residents in the area, suggests that the university, which is seeking the city’s support for a major northward expansion of its Morningside Heights campus, is trying to be conciliatory.

And yet:
In a statement, Columbia said its executive vice president, Robert Kasdin, did not eliminate the possibility that the university might ask the state to invoke eminent domain to acquire the few commercial properties that remain in the proposed expansion area.

Fifth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States: "nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation."

More on New York's particularly bad eminent domain system.