This Indiana Town Wants to Fine a Community Out of Existence on Behalf of Private Developers - Hit & Run : Reason.com:
"Members of a small, low-income community in Indiana are discovering that state-level protections that make it hard for cities to seize their property may not be enough.
When city leaders decide to get into bed with private developers, there are all sorts of ways for cronyism to threaten the property rights of owners.
When we imagine how a city or town seizes private property from citizens in order to hand it over to developers for special projects, we often think about eminent domain.
Governments can force citizens to sell them their property (often for much less than it's worth on the market).
While eminent domain was supposed to be used solely for public works projects (roads, schools, et cetera), the infamous Kelo v. City of New London Supreme Court decision set a legal precedent allowing governments to use it to hand over property to private developers for big projects.
Some states that objected to that decision passed new laws to restrict how eminent domain may be used within their borders.
Indiana was one of them.
So property rights-minded citizens might be surprised to hear that the mayor and city officials of Charlestown, Indiana, a rural community with a population of less than 8,000, are trying to arrange to hand over hundreds of homes to a private developer.
He's not using eminent domain to do so.
Instead, the city stands accused of deliberately finding excuses to burden the community's residents with thousands of dollars of fines that will be waived if they sell their properties to the private developer..."