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  #1  
Old 01-13-2007, 09:11 AM
mzoltarp mzoltarp is offline
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Default Hyundai's California Test Track

This is in my neck of the woods sort of. It seems that California City exercised eminent domain rights to get the land that Hyundai built its track on. Now it seems that a couple of the owners of the condemned parcels have gotten a judge to say that California City did not legally conform to eminent domain laws and now Hyundai has to pay the owners of the land IF they will sell or remove the track on those parcels IF they will not sell. Trust me on this. If the owners got a couple thousand for their parcels they are adequately compensated. California City is desolate, horrible land. This will be resolved with the owners gouging Hyundai big time.
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Old 01-13-2007, 02:36 PM
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Default Re: Hyundai's California Test Track (mzoltarp)

Quote, originally posted by mzoltarp »
This is in my neck of the woods sort of. It seems that California City exercised eminent domain rights to get the land that Hyundai built its track on. Now it seems that a couple of the owners of the condemned parcels have gotten a judge to say that California City did not legally conform to eminent domain laws and now Hyundai has to pay the owners of the land IF they will sell or remove the track on those parcels IF they will not sell. Trust me on this. If the owners got a couple thousand for their parcels they are adequately compensated. California City is desolate, horrible land. This will be resolved with the owners gouging Hyundai big time.

I'm lost as to what's going on. Hyundai looses land but now has to pay back the land?

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Old 01-13-2007, 02:42 PM
rman5001 rman5001 is offline
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Default Re: Hyundai's California Test Track (Cozz)

Quote, originally posted by Cozz »

I'm lost as to what's going on. Hyundai looses land but now has to pay back the land?

If I understand this right, the appeal judge indicated that the land could not be expropriated and so Hyundai has to deal with the owners of the land. Good for the owners.

Eminent domain, allowing the government to force people to give up ownership for private interests, (say building a shopping mall or casino) is a dangerous concept and a slippery slope regardless of the details of this particular case.

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Old 01-13-2007, 03:16 PM
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Default Re: Hyundai's California Test Track (rman5001)

Except in this case the vast majority of the parcels of land were part of a fraudulent land scheme wherein parcels were sold sight-unseen to investors beginning in the 1960's who swallowed the idea that Los Angeles would soon surround the desert communities of which California City was the last great bastion of cheap land that would multiply wildly in value. I remember going with my grandparents to California City to see about buying land, which they very nearly did. The area look the same way today except for the test track which ironically has created jobs and beautified the land (that's how desolate it is out there). The parcels were sold so that most of them had no access to roads (i.e. one person's parcel was likely to be surrounded by other parcels preventing direct access). If the parcel you bought butted up to a road you could access your parcel but if it didn't you would have to either trespass to get to your parcel by going across another person's parcel or buy securing a right of way. There were never any plans for infrastructure (roads, electricity, water, sewer, phone) on these parcels. Many people defaulted on their loans because they could not really afford the payments in the first place or they later caught on to the scam and stopped paying. Most of the people who bought parcels did not see them ahead of time and a significant portion of the owners have never seen their land. Fast forward 30 years and Los Angeles is nowhere near encroaching on California City. Moreover, California City was an economically blighted area. It's too far from anything big, too inhospitable in summer, and as windy as Chicago year around. Hyundai did not buy the land from the owners. California City used eminent domain to secure the land. The owners were paid the fair market value (granted a debatable issue)). California City then sold the parcels to Hyundai. The disgruntled owners are suing Hyundai because Hyundai has deep pockets and the California City council does not. This particular case is not about eminent domain so much as it is about extorting a company out of some cash for truly worthless land (the ph of the soil makes it virtually impossible to grow crops on even if water were available, and no natural resources are hidden beneath the soil). My guess is Hyundai will pay off the lawyers.
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Old 01-13-2007, 03:43 PM
rman5001 rman5001 is offline
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Default Re: Hyundai's California Test Track (mzoltarp)

Quote, originally posted by mzoltarp »
Except in this case the vast majority of the parcels of land were part of a fraudulent land scheme wherein parcels were sold sight-unseen to investors beginning in the 1960's who swallowed the idea that Los Angeles would soon surround the desert communities of which California City was the last great bastion of cheap land that would multiply wildly in value. I remember going with my grandparents to California City to see about buying land, which they very nearly did. The area look the same way today except for the test track which ironically has created jobs and beautified the land (that's how desolate it is out there). The parcels were sold so that most of them had no access to roads (i.e. one person's parcel was likely to be surrounded by other parcels preventing direct access). If the parcel you bought butted up to a road you could access your parcel but if it didn't you would have to either trespass to get to your parcel by going across another person's parcel or buy securing a right of way. There were never any plans for infrastructure (roads, electricity, water, sewer, phone) on these parcels. Many people defaulted on their loans because they could not really afford the payments in the first place or they later caught on to the scam and stopped paying. Most of the people who bought parcels did not see them ahead of time and a significant portion of the owners have never seen their land. Fast forward 30 years and Los Angeles is nowhere near encroaching on California City. Moreover, California City was an economically blighted area. It's too far from anything big, too inhospitable in summer, and as windy as Chicago year around. Hyundai did not buy the land from the owners. California City used eminent domain to secure the land. The owners were paid the fair market value (granted a debatable issue)). California City then sold the parcels to Hyundai. The disgruntled owners are suing Hyundai because Hyundai has deep pockets and the California City council does not. This particular case is not about eminent domain so much as it is about extorting a company out of some cash for truly worthless land (the ph of the soil makes it virtually impossible to grow crops on even if water were available, and no natural resources are hidden beneath the soil). My guess is Hyundai will pay off the lawyers.

My point (regardless of the particulars of this situation which obviously you have more background than I) is that eminent domain is a dangerous tool. Property rights are a fundamental part of any capitalist democracy.

Yes Hyundai created jobs but that same logic, someone could use eminent domain to force me to sell my house to allow a Starbucks to be erected. A bit of an extreme example but hey..after all they would generate jobs and more taxes than I pay on my property.

Let the market establish fair market value. If the property truly was worthless, and the owners are investors/businessmen as you intimate then why not negotiate? There are plently of other places in the country that Hyundai could have built a test track and used that to negotiate a true fair price with the owners who probably would have settled. And if not, its their property. If there was fraud deal with that don't set a dangerous precedent

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Old 01-13-2007, 03:54 PM
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Default Re: Hyundai's California Test Track (mzoltarp)

Gotcha!

Hyundai has really nothing to do with this really. The city did eminent domain by law. If something isn't right then the old owners must fight the city. And even if they did win against anyone. They are only paid fair value. Something the city already did.

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Old 01-13-2007, 03:55 PM
mzoltarp mzoltarp is offline
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The disgruntled owners should sue California City who is the culprit not Hyundai. Hyundai should sue California City for essentially a fraudulent sale of land. The whole eminent domain issue is an emotional one more than it is an issue where egregious, demonstrable misuses of the right have hurt a significant portion of the voting public.

Hyundai bought the land from California City and as such did in fact negotiate a fair price.

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Old 01-13-2007, 04:04 PM
rman5001 rman5001 is offline
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Default Re: (mzoltarp)

Quote, originally posted by mzoltarp »

Hyundai bought the land from California City and as such did in fact negotiate a fair price.

Ah...I see your point.

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Old 01-13-2007, 04:12 PM
mzoltarp mzoltarp is offline
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And I get yours about eminent domain. I think this will blow over rather quickly.
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