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Real Estate & Property Law

: Kelo and Beyond

Welcome Back, Welcome Back, Welcome Back!

By Greg Alvarez, Esq.

Curiously, I have the theme from Welcome Back, Kotter going through my head as I plot my return to the blogosphere. It has been almost two years since my last confession. Since then, things have been busy on the personal and professional fronts. Of course, that has not meant that I have not been keeping up on the happenings when it comes to land use.

When it comes to the latest, I have been extremely focused on homeownership, as I recently joined the ranks of such unfortunate souls late last year. Aside from the unending reports which predict the end of people owning the place where they lay their head at night, I have to question my own purchase every time there's a new repair that's needed on my wonderful old house, wondering if I'll have better luck than the Baileys in It's a Wonderful Life, or perhaps whether Bob Vila or Norm Abram may live on my block. In fact, a few weeks ago, an enormous tree branch plummeted to the ground next door. Aside from thanking above that it did not fall on my front lawn, I also contemplated if this branch was a comment on the state of affairs.

Attempting to move beyond the immediate concerns which surround us, I am heartened to see that at least in certain respects, our obsession with changes in the built environment remain on the brains of most of us, particularly if a new project is just down the road, or even next door. On another positive note, I just returned from Toronto, a lovely city across the northern border. What struck me most were the seemingly omnipresent cranes and construction sites, particularly in the city's downtown area (which is where I focused my stay).

This, of course, was a far cry from what is going on back home. I returned to learn of the rejection of a proposal in Nassau County, on whether to devote public funds to the chronic Nassau Coliseum site. Not only does it send the endless process back into focus group mode, it also may result in the County's loss of its New York Islanders.

Even more of a blow, though, was the impending death of regional planning on Long Island. The Long Island Regional Planning Council, which has provided a forum to discuss island-wide issues in a very-fragmented political climate, has lost its funding from Nassau County, who battled severe budget issues. The Council remains upbeat, but it may be an uphill pursuit.

Nonetheless, despite all the gloom, I still see the glimmer of new beginnings. I try to stay positive, especially when I see signs of life beyond the horizon.

Full post as published by Kelo and Beyond on August 12, 2011 (boomark / email).

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