Kelo v. New London: The Aftermath

In 2005, the Supreme Court ruled on the controversial property rights case–Kelo v. New London. In that case, the Supreme Court ruled that cities could exercise eminent domain for purely economic development purposes, even if they took the land from one private property owner and transferred it to another. According to the Court, this was an acceptable “public use” under the Fifth Amendment.

But governments do not necessarily make good decisions about economic development and the Kelo situation is a good example. It’s four years after the Supreme Court’s decision and the land the land that the City of New London took from Susette Kelo and her neighbors for “economic development” is still vacant. None of the 3,169 new jobs and $1.2 million a year in tax revenues have materialized

Earlier in the month, my wife and I were near New London, so we stopped by to see what the land looks like today. Below are picture I took of the site:

View to the south from where Susette Kelo’s house once stood:

View to the west from where Susette Kelo’s house once stood:

Trees on the Susette Kelo’s block:

View to the north on East street:

One block North from Susette Kelo’s, more condemned land: 

View to the north, same location:

Bing maps has a nice aerial perspective of this location, especially when you use the Bird’s Eye feature.

This is a sad case of hubris. People homes were taken and replaced with empty lots?

10 thoughts on “Kelo v. New London: The Aftermath

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  4. Laurie

    Great pictures and article. It is yet another reminder that in the long run, people never prosper with ill-gotten gain. A monument to folly should be erected there.

  5. Daniel Post author

    I don’t have before pictures. If you go to this aerial view from Bing, you can see what it looked like during the legal battle: http://www.bing.com/maps/default.aspx?v=2&FORM=LMLTCP&cp=qwqkj68zrtjw&style=b&lvl=1&tilt=-90&dir=0&alt=-1000&phx=0&phy=0&phscl=1&scene=15268517&where1=trumbull%20street%20and%20east%20street%2C%20new%20london%2C%20ct&encType=1 Some of the house had been removed but the people who were fighting against the city, their houses still stood.

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