Proposition 99 Passes; Proposition 98 Fails
With 62.5% of the vote, Proposition 99 was passed by California voters. Proposition 99 was a state initiative to limit the use of eminent domain by local governments, including redevelopment agencies. A competing state initiative, Proposition 98, was rejected by 61% of California voters.
Proposition 99 (known as the "Homeowners and Private Property Protection Act") amends the California Constitution to prohibit local governments from using eminent domain to acquire an owner-occupied residence for the purpose of conveying it to a private person or business entity, such as a developer. "Local government" includes any city, county, redevelopment agency, special district, school district, or other political subdivision of California. "Owner-occupied residence" includes a single-family residence, such as a detached home, condominium or townhouse, that is the owner's principal place of residence for at least one year prior a local government's initial written offer to purchase the property.
A local government may, however, continue to use eminent domain to acquire an owner-occupied residence for public purposes, such as a public works project, protecting public health and safety or remedying environmental contamination. Proposition 99 also does not prohibit the use of eminent domain to acquire non-residential property.
Proposition 99 takes immediate effect (June 4, 2008). Proposition 99 does not apply to an acquisition of an owner-occupied residence by eminent domain if: (1) the initial written offer to purchase the home was made on or before June 4, 2008, and (2) a resolution of necessity to acquire the home by eminent domain was adopted on or before 180 days after June 4, 2008.