Despite skepticism over increased government control, the Texas Legislature passed a bill that would make it easier for cities like Houston to seize blighted properties through eminent domain for the purpose of “economic development.”
Mayor Annise Parker said it will allow the city to finally turn around the troubled Candlelight Trails condo complex in northwest Houston, as well as several other blighted properties throughout the city.
But some critics worry the measure could infringe on private property rights.
The problem isn’t simply the possible infringement of private property rights (a concern, to be sure). Rather, in a city where major news organizations do not always show much interest in Houston Way dealings until after the fact, the bigger worry is shenanigans that might benefit connected elites at the expense of private property owners. We (citizens and journalists alike) would do well to monitor closely how the city uses its new powers.