Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Maybe They're Not Evil After All

There was a post awhile ago over at Dispatches From The Culture Wars about my hometown, Long Beach, trying to seize the property of a Baptist Church. Needless to say I was none to happy with this; Long Beach has its problems, but the ridiculous abuse of power has not generally been one of them. So I was back home, not too long ago, and found an article about this in the Grunion Gazette, our (very) local paper. Unfortunately, they don't keep their archive online, but here's a search that turns up the article (entitled "Protest Greets RDA Vote To Take Church Property") and a link to where you can buy the entire article for $2.95. The long and the short is that this is not nearly as outrageous as it initially appeared. The church had apparently leased (or otherwise taken possession of) the property in 2002 with the understanding (apparently there's written documentation to back this up) that they would need to move again soon as the property was scheduled to be redeveloped. The issue is whether allowing the church to remain in place for 4 years (rather than the shorter time span the church was originally told) somehow nullifies this agreements. I've no opinion one way or the other; it seems to be to be largely a matter of applicable (and probably obscure) law and precedent at this point. The upside, however, is that it is readily apparent that the LBC did not just try to march in and seize the property under emminent domain as was originally reported.

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