July 31st, 2008 — By — In News & Events

Tulsa, OK might use eminent domain for new Drillers ballpark

Tulsa World staff writer P.J. Lassek writes today about Mayor Kathy Taylor’s proposed $60 million baseball stadium and mixed use project for the historic Greenwood District. Although the city, as the Tulsa Development Authority, already owns the land where the stadium would be built, it does not own the surrounding real estate, which would be desirable if a larger mixed-use facility was designed for the site. Mr. Lassek writes in his article that backers of Mayor Taylor’s project have indicated that it is “vital to have the larger footprint to create a successful project and spur further economic development.

Following the Supreme Court decision in Kelo v. City of New London (2005), the Oklahoma Supreme Court found that Oklahoma’s Constitution provided greater protection than that of the U.S. Constitution with respect to private property ownership. The Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled that economic development alone does not constitute legitimate public purpose and concluded “our state constitutional eminent domain provisions place more stringent limitations on governmental eminent domain than the limitations imposed by the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.”

If not for economic development, what would Tulsa’s public purpose be in acquiring those properties surrounding the proposed stadium site?

You can read P.J. Lassek’s full story on TulsaWorld.com here.

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