Susette Kelo's little pink cottage -- the home that was the subject of a landmark U.S. Supreme Court case and a national symbol of the fight against eminent domain abuse -- will be spared from the wrecking ball. In a compromise put forward by Kelo and accepted today by the City of New London, the home will be saved and moved to another location, perhaps close to where it originally stood over a century ago, on Pequot Avenue in New London. The U.S. Supreme Court in Kelo v. New London gutted federal constitutional protections against eminent domain abuse but, in so doing, sparked a national rebellion against these practices.
"It is wonderful that Susette Kelo's little pink house, which is a national symbol of the fight against eminent domain abuse, will remain standing," said Scott Bullock, senior attorney for the Institute for Justice, which continues to represent the remaining two homeowners. "The home will continue to serve as a tribute to her brave struggle and as a powerful symbol of the fight to stop land-grabs by cities and their developer allies."
"I am not happy about giving up my property, but I am very glad that my home, which means so much to me, will not be demolished and I will remain living in it," said Susette Kelo, the lead plaintiff in Kelo v. New London. "I proposed this as a compromise years ago and was turned down flat."
Faced with eviction and the destruction of her beloved home, Kelo put forward an idea that she had originally proposed when first threatened with eminent domain abuse: preserving the home and moving it. When she first proposed this idea, it was rejected by the New London Development Corporation (NLDC). Now, the City, NLDC and the State of Connecticut have agreed to the move. While the precise location has not yet been determined, the house may be moved on or near Pequot Avenue, which is where the home originally stood before it was moved to Fort Trumbull over 100 years ago. There, the home, like Kelo's property in Fort Trumbull, will be very close to the Long Island Sound.
A small win for "the people," but anyway that you slice it, it just ain't right.