Arizona Homeowners Protection, Proposition 207 (2006)

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Arizona Proposition 207, also called the Private Property Rights Protection Act was on the November 7, 2006 ballot in Arizona as an initiated state statute. It was approved.[1]

The proposal was one of 12 eminent domain-related ballot measures throughout the country on the 2006 ballot.

Election results

Homeowners Protection
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 955,533 64.8%
No519,16135.2%
Election results from Arizona Elections Department.

Text of measure

Ballot language

The language that appeared on the ballot:

Analysis by Legislative Council

Eminent domain is the power of the government to take private property for public use. Proposition 207 sets forth the rights of a property owner when the state or a local government exercises the power of eminent domain. (These rights are in addition to the current statutory and constitutional rights.)

Proposition 207 would limit the use of eminent domain to situations where eminent domain is authorized by the state and the property taken is put to a public use. The proposition defines "public use" to include:

1. The use of land by the general public or by public agencies.

2. The use of land for utilities.

3. The acquisition of property to eliminate a direct threat to the public health or safety caused by the current condition of the property.

4. The acquisition of abandoned property.

Proposition 207 excludes from the definition of public use the public benefits of economic development.

The Arizona constitution prohibits a government from taking private property, unless the government provides just compensation to the property owner. Proposition 207 provides that as just compensation when a person's primary residence is taken by the government, the person must be provided a comparable replacement dwelling that is decent, safe and sanitary. The property owner may choose to receive money compensation instead of the replacement dwelling.

Proposition 207 also provides that a property owner is entitled to just compensation if the value of a person's property is reduced by the enactment of a land use law. A land use law is defined as a law that regulates the use or division of land, such as municipal zoning laws, or regulates accepted farming or forestry practices. The proposition sets out seven types of land use laws that are exempt from the compensation requirement.

If a property owner were successful in an eminent domain law suit, Proposition 207 would require the government to pay the land owner's attorney fees and costs. If a property owner were successful in a law suit for reduction in the property's value, the court could award attorney fees and costs.

Fiscal Impact Statement

State law requires the Joint Legislative Budget Committee (JLBC) Staff to prepare a summary of the fiscal impact of certain ballot measures. Proposition 207 may increase the cost to state and local government to acquire private property for public use in some circumstances. The proposition also requires a property owner to be compensated, including reasonable attorney fees, if the value of a person's property is reduced by the enactment of a land use law.

The proposition also prohibits the use of eminent domain for economic development. If state and local governments reduce their use of eminent domain as a result, their compensation costs may decline.

The overall fiscal impact will be affected by how the proposition affects the level of economic development in a community.[2][3]

Full text

The full text of the legislation legislation enacted by Proposition 207 is available here.

Controversy

Shortly after Propostion 207 there were potential lawsuits for the city of Tucson due to alleged violations of Proposition 207. Protest from landowners in the city had delayed a mini-dorm project that was to be built northwest of the University of Arizona. As a result, the city council had to vote on new regulations to restrict the development of proposed mini-dorms. The city council was required to vote six out of seven to create new design rules for the mini-dorms, known as Feldman’s Neighborhood. According to reports, about 20 speakers spoke at a public hearing to promote new design rules.

However, mini-dorm developers had stated that the city was violating Proposition 207, saying that the new design laws that were being proposed would cost taxpayers money to fight the lawsuit. In a previous lawsuit, a judge ruled that the city might have to pay damages to mini-dorm developer Michael Goodman for the impact on the property value of the project.

During the week of November 6, 2009, a Pima County Superior Court Judge Paul Tang rejected the city’s argument that Michael Goodman was not eligible to receive damages because the law was no longer in effect. However, Tang stated that he would be able to be compensated and allowed for the damages portion of the lawsuit to continue. According to reports, if Goodman won the case, it would be the first lawsuit to award damages under Proposition 207.

The council voted 6-0 on November 17, 2009 to delay new design rules for mini dorms. Councilwoman Karin Uhlich proposed a last-minute compromise that would allow developers to build more intensive developments along the main streets around the proposed mini dorms and would speed up re-zonings by four to six months. Council was set to decide on the compromise during the week of [[BC2009#November|November 23, 2009]</ref>

Campaign finance

Donors to the campaign for the measure:[4]

  • AZ Home Owners Protection Effort Supporting I-21-2006: $1,846,693
  • Total: $1,846,693

Donors to the campaign against the measure:

  • Protecting Arizona Taxpayers Coalition No on 207: $436,314
  • Total: $436,314
  • Overall Total: $2,283,007

See also

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External links

References

  1. Arizona 2006 election results
  2. Arizona Secretary of State, 2006 Ballot Propositions & Judicial Performance Review Proposition 207
  3. Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
  4. Follow the Money, "Arizona donors"