Sunday, March 29, 2015

African American Church gets Cheated in Government Land Swap (Racism in Smart Growth Planning?)

Property Rights Abuse and the Evergreen Baptist Church from Don Casey on Vimeo.
Evergreen Baptist Church overlooks I-65 between Birmingham and Gardendale, Alabama. The Church was required to surrender its property through eminent domain for road construction. The Church agreed to a property swap with the State Department of Transportation. The Church at its old location was serviced with water, gas and electricity - all modern conveniences. Before construction began on the new Church building, Rev. Smith contacted the Birmingham Water Works to ensure that water would be available. With the Water Works assurance, construction was begun. When construction reached ¾ completion, it was
disclosed that the Birmingham Water Works would require $80,000.00 to install a new water main. The Church, consisting of a small congregation, could not afford the demands of the Water Works. Two years have passed and the inequity in the land swap has not been resolved. The Church pleads for a just and appropriate public outcry.

During the 2009 Alabama legislative session, legislation was introduced which will elevate this inequity in future land swaps through eminent domain procedures.

EDITOR'S NOTES:  The Reverend's wife makes a particularly passionate plea about halfway in the clip.  The cost for the water main was due to "smart growth" restrictions on building outside the Urban Growth boundary.  Soon, all rural landowners will notice crushing fees for building outside the "city centered corridor" in Marin and throughout the rural lands in the Bay Area.

  Note that the prior white property owners had water and sewer service on the site.

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