Controversial Proposition Passes

June 4, 2008 8:47:46 PM PDT
Voters had two choices Tuesday when it came to changing imminent domain laws in California. Proposition 98 went down to defeat by a wide margin, with 61-percent rejecting the measure. But proposition 99 passed, with 62-percent supporting it.

Prop 99 forbids city hall from taking your home and giving it to a private developer. Prop 99 doesn't protect people like Gary Landfranco who faced a takeover of his downtown business last year.

Landfranco: "The building has been in our family for over a 100 years."

Landfranco owns Cosmos, a local bar and restaurant. He said the city eyed his property for redevelopment and feared officials would use eminent domain to take his family's heritage.

Landfranco: "I believe that person should be given the opportunity to redevelop his property, give him the opportunity to do it himself."

Fresno City Council Member Blong Xiong doesn't oppose Prop 99 because he says eminent domain should be used as a tool of last resort.

Xiong: "As a public entity, I can't go and take a person's resident while they're living there and give this to a private developer. At this point, I haven't seen the city in terms of using eminent domain in that fashion."

City staff says road work is the number one use of eminent domain. Prop 99 still allows state and local governments to take your property for public projects.

Landfranco: "I don't believe they should take private property."

But Landfranco understands taking property for roads, schools and hospitals something Prop 99 allows.


Load Comments