April 28, 2005

Sent to the members of the Nevada State Senate and Nevada State Assembly

I urge you to vote no on SB 326 which would prohibit acquisition of open space by eminent domain. The importance of open space in Nevada is recognized by NRS 376A which gives Counties the power to adopt plans, acquire land and impose taxes for open space.

SB 326 is in direct conflict with NRS 376A.030 1(b) which gives counties the power to acquire open space property by purchase, gift or any other means.

Open space preserves natural values and improves our quality of life.

Communities with open space are good places to live and work. They attract tourists and new residents while less desirable areas stagnate.

The Fifth Amendment permits the taking of private land for public use with just compensation. Eminent domain is an essential tool of urban planning and development with a long judicial tradition.

A chronology of Nevada Supreme Court decisions lists ninety cases upholding the concept and defining its proper usage. Without eminent domain a single landowner would have the power to block any public road, utility or facility or project.

SB 326 is a poorly conceived attack on the power of local populations to define the types of communities they want. All local votes, public hearings, plans and processes seeking to create open space are futile if any landowner can frustrate them by refusing to sell for fair market value.

SB 326 is blatant special interest legislation that would retroactively invalidate Washoe County’s attempt to acquire Ballardini Ranch after the public passed a bond issue for its acquisition. This matter is scheduled for court. Let the judicial process take its course.

Please vote no on SB 326.

Carl A. Adams

Washoe County Open Space and Regional Park Commission



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