Kieran Shanahan, a Raleigh attorney and former member of the Raleigh City Council, has launched a new statewide organization that will advocate for limits on the use of eminent domain to seize property in North Carolina. The organization, called the North Carolina Property Rights Coalition , is a nonprofit coalition of individuals including Raleigh City Council member Philip Isley and Durham City Council member Thomas Stith, among others Shanahan says the organization’s first project will be to push for an amendment to the North Carolina Constitution that would limit the government’s ability to seize private property for economic development purposes. Last year’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in Kelo v. New London left much of the power to administer eminent domain to local governments. “The organization will serve as a clearinghouse for groups on the short end of the eminent domain stick,” he says. Shanahan says he became involved in the cause after representing Frank Lee, also on the organization’s board, who had a marina on Topsail Island seized by the local government. The organization next hopes to branch out across the state, educating people about eminent domain and providing resources for people threatened by government action.
http://www.triangle.bizjournals.com/ May 31, 2006