I’ve been wondering just how long it would take for municipal leaders, feeling their oats in light of the Kelo case on eminent domain, would start flexing their newly-confirmed muscles and start leaning on property holders to conform to the politicians’ wishes — or feel the heat.
I am waiting no longer. Yesterday, the Boston Globe reported that Mayor Tom Menino has singled out a Chicago family who owns a choice hunk of Boston’s waterfront. They’ve received permits for development, but haven’t used them yet — they’re just quietly sitting back and raking in the money from parking.
Under Boston law, the permits they secured are good for three years, and then the city can revoke them if they haven’t been used. That time expires this November and Menino is threatening to not only pull those permits, but the ones that let them use the land for parking as well — making the land unusable until they go through the expensive permit process again.
Mumbles (as Menino is known) isn’t threatening to just up and take away the land from the Prizker family yet, but I’m sure that once one of his aides breaks it down into words of two syllables or less, he’ll be all over it.
(Updated to include link to story)