A while ago, there was much stir among eminent domain bloggers about the Minnesota case in which that state’s intermediate appellate court overturned the City of Eagan attempt to condemn private property for redevelopment (765 N.W.2d 403). Being a congenital pessimist, we never carried on about it, and predictably it turned out to be a short-lived victory for the good guys — the Minnesota Supreme Court reversed and held that when the redevelopment plan required that it could not proceed without an enforceable contract with a redeveloper, that did not mean that the redevelopment authority actually had to have such a contract.
To learn how the court reached that conclusion, see the Minnesota Supreme Court decision Eagan Economic Development Authority v. U-Haul Company of Minnesota, 787 N.W.2d 523 (2010). We suggest a stiff drink beforehand because this opinion is a masterpiece of length, complexity and obfuscation. Don’t take our word for it. Read it yourself.
But we wish to leave you with the following piece de resistance buried in the opinion:
“. . . much of the planned redevelopment never occurred. Several different developers submitted development proposals and the [Eagan Development Authority] pursued those proposals, but the projects did not materialize because the developers withdrew their proposals.”
Of course, that did not keep the court from letting the condemnation proceed.
So as we never tire of noting: Your tax money at work.”