Suppose you live in a town where a commercial development is trying to come in and “take” (in exchange for just compensation) several waterfront residences to build a new mall area with restaurants, bars, and souvenir shops. This new development is supposed to create 500 jobs and bring in countless visitors each year.

Over the past 25 years, the town’s economy has been tolerable, but not booming, the tax base has been shrinking because of younger people moving away, and what was once a major tourist economy is languishing.

Is there a constitutional and/or public policy argument that would legally support the taking of these properties against the will of the residents? Explain.

Taking the opposite side, are there legal arguments against the taking? Be sure to include specific examples and case law to support your work.

Note: A legal argument is required. An emotional one can be valid, but it is not legal or constitutional.



In the scenario described for this assignment, there are legal and emotive grounds to bar the commercial development from acquiring the waterfront residences. The project looks attractive to any simple mind. However, without dressing it any other way, the buying of people out of their residences by the commercial corporation is straight-up gentrification and displacement. On such grounds, the deal is not suitable for the natives on several grounds. If the people sell their residences to the commercial enterprise, then the neighborhood is likely to be a different neighborhood without the historical owners.

The actions are unfairly discriminatory by whatever means. It is against the International Human Rights Charter to discriminate against people on whatever basis (United Nations, 2020). The development of that section of the town, in the name of urban development, is an action that will raise the standards of living beyond the level that the people living in this neighborhood can afford. It will be followed closely by rising house rents, yet the project will have created only five hundred jobs. The historical inhabitants of this town will soon be unable to afford to live in this neighborhood and to top it all up. These people are mostly aged individuals without much energy left to fend for themselves. Therefore, commercial development is going against the human rights of these people by discriminating against them based on their age and financial power.

Furthermore, gentrification is a public policy. The tendency of the administrative authorities to allow commercial entities to own property in residencies is not really in the best interest of any community because the rates are very likely to be unbearable for a vast majority of the community (Wharton Public Policy Initiative, 2020). In 2018, for example, there was a lawsuit filed against the administration of Washington DC for re-modeling some specific neighborhoods in a fashion that was not any favorable for the low-income black community that historically owned houses in these places (Wang, 2018). Therefore, the municipal or administrative authorities need to be kept on the close watch that at any time they do not begin urban development plans that are not in the best interest of the public. Such should be the appropriate way to handle the matter in the case scenario described herein.


United Nations. (2020). Equality and Non-discrimination – United Nations and the Rule of Law. United Nations and the Rule of Law. Retrieved 17 June 2020, from

Wang, J. (2018). Residents Sue Washington D.C. For Racist Gentrification Practices. Forbes. Retrieved 17 June 2020, from

Wharton Public Policy Initiative. (2020). Impacts of Gentrification: A Policy Primer. Wharton Public Policy Initiative. Retrieved 17 June 2020, from


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