Setting a Precedent
Anyone who thinks that the seizure of private property by a political jurisdiction is a "frivolous" matter should do a little reading. The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution requires that if a governmental body "takes" private property, the owners are entitled to "just compensation," i.e., payment of "fair market value."
The definition of "fair market value" is basically the price a buyer is willing to pay and at which a seller is willing to sell, with neither being under undue pressure.
The court decision in the Pinewild case may establish an important precedent. The question is whether annexation by a political jurisdiction is a legal "taking." Under most circumstances, when a political jurisdiction annexes adjoining -properties, the roads, sewer systems and other utilities were installed by a governmental body, such as a county, using tax money. In that case, the question of just compensation is not an issue.
This is not true in the case of Pinewild, where the roads and other utilities were paid for with private funds. If the court decides that this specific annexation is, indeed, a legal taking under the Fifth Amendment, the town of Pinehurst would have to pay just compensation to the owners of Pinewild. The formula for establishing fair market value in such a case would be incredibly complex, and the result might bankrupt the town of Pinehurst.
The precedent established by this case could have national implications. It is not, by any standards, frivolous. John and Lydia Boesch and their associates have done a magnificent job of protecting Pinewild owners. If some Pinewild owners, and there are very few, would like to surrender the freedom of choice we now have, to intrusive supervision by money-hungry politicians, it may be time for them to move.
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