On "Morning Edition" today, this story, about Daytona Beach trying to use eminent domain to take away three businesses in order to invigorate the boardwalk/beachfront.
What's notable is that the city is trying to use eminent domain in such a way to directly benefit a private entity. The city itself will not use the property for any municiple purpose, but rather give the land to a developer to create a hotel/mall destination for tourists. This is an abuse of eminent domain, it would seem to me. Eminent domain--the process of the state taking away a private person's property for the needs of the state in exchange for fair compensation--should only be used for public purposes. In this case, if the private developer has a profitable enterprise, he should keep upping the purchase price until the business owners sell. If not, then he must work around it. The fact that the city might benefit from a new project cannot justify the taking of one person's property and giving it to another.