The Sacramento Kings eminent domain case is over, and it didn’t even take an out-of-court settlement to get resolved: A Sacramento Superior Court judge just up and ruled that the city can seize the former Macy’s building to use for the site of a new Kings arena, and that’s that.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone: Ever since the Kelo case, the courts have established that pretty much anything can count as a “public purpose” for which eminent domain can be used. (Maybe not organ smuggling. Maybe.) The courts will now figure out a fair purchase price for the property, but in the meantime arena preparations can proceed apace.
Next up: public hearings in April on the city’s environmental report and bond offering, with arena bonds to be sold shortly thereafter. According to the Sacramento Bee, the final agreement between the city and the Kings “will be released to the public 10 days before the City Council takes its final decision,” which is totally plenty of time to decide if it all makes sense. Or plenty of time to hold a couple of hearings and then rubber-stamp it, anyway. Definitely one of those.