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Headlines NOLA residents vs. Eminent domain.


Banned - What an Asshat!
will all the residents of New Orleans be allowed to return? presently we are assuming yes, but if FEMA uses powers granted under 'eminent domain' some residents may find that the land their house stood on now belongs to someone else with only a check as compensation..
(again, as with many of my posts regarding NOLA/Katrina, this is currently unfounded and is presented as food for thought).

Clearly, some of the houses are a total loss and need to be torn down. On some portions of satellite images houses formerly aligned in neat rows now look like they were casually dropped and haven't been lined up yet. Those homes are gone. There is no question that they need to be replaced. But many others, some in quite deep water, may well be reparable. The question is this: How much of New Orleans does FEMA plan to restore, and how much does it plan to simply replace. And if the houses are replaced with something else, are they to be replaced for their original owners? Or will the land be taken by eminent domain and redistributed?


If anything, eminent domain will be used only in places where the levees need expanding. Standing property was one of the reasons for weak levees in some places; houses and project buildings stood in areas where levee bases needed to be widened to compensate for their expanded height. (Levees are generally wider a the base than they are tall.) The 17th street canal was one such place, and that's one of the reasons it was extended with only concrete walls.

I have a feeling that a lot of the project buildings won't be coming back though, because a lot of them are located near levee basins. I don't see them ousting other residents though.