Backers of a measure to limit the use of eminent domain submitted enough signatures to qualify it for the statewide ballot in June, the secretary of state’s office announced Wednesday.
The ballot measure, backed by the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association and the California Farm Bureau, would bar state and local governments from condemning private property for private uses, and prohibit rent control.
“Government should not be able to profit by seizing private property from unwilling sellers for retail or commercial projects,” the campaign’s finance chair, Doug Ose, said in a statement.
California voters in 2006 narrowly defeated another eminent domain-related ballot measure, Proposition 90. The measure was sold as an eminent domain measure, but its opponents argued that it also contained language that would have imposed sweeping limits on governments’ ability to regulate land use and crippled the use of eminent domain for traditional public purposes.
Backers of the new measure say its scope is more limited, but opponents say this year’s measure is another “hidden agenda” to hobble local land-use planning.
The “no on 90” campaign committee — renamed “Eminent Domain Reform Now” and financed largely by committees tied to the League of California Cities, California State Association of Counties, and California Redevelopment Association — gathered petition signatures for its own ballot measure that is expected to qualify for the June ballot.
That measure is narrowly written to prevent the use of eminent domain to take an owner-occupied home to transfer to a private party, its backers say.
If both dueling measures make the June ballot and are approved by voters, the one with the most votes will take effect.