Issues always arise when states have a spaceport near private properties. Constant construction and launches can hurt wildlife and people alike. If a home is too close to the spaceport, its windows can even shatter. Can a property outlast eminent domain in Orlando, Florida?
Pros and cons of a spaceport
With construction, launches, and expansions, the residents put up with a lot. Residents lost access to the public beach longer than the government agreed to. The rarer wildlife of the area was disappearing. The homeowners have eminent domain and don’t have to leave. SpaceX wants to continue its expansion for a new model of spacecraft.
Residents could originally stop utilities when going on vacation. The new law says residents must never stop paying utilities such as water and electricity. A home has to have utilities, whether on vacation or just a rental property, to keep the eminent domain. If homeowners shut utilities off when they leave, they can lose their occupation license. Without the occupation license, the county can foreclose on the property.
SpaceX never told anyone they would work 24/7 and use floodlights for construction and launches. Homeowners couldn’t see stars at night and slept with plywood over the windows. To get more properties, they were intimidating residents with strong language and large payments to move elsewhere. Some residents took their offer and left, while others held out for more money.
The government allows the corporation to do what it pleases. Local and state officials from Florida, Texas, Georgia and Puerto Rico offer tax breaks for commercial spaceports. The jobs from the massive project are temporary. There are many construction jobs, but only during renovations and expansions. Most of the 450 employees came from other states. The county that holds the spaceport saw almost no new jobs.
Many scientists and environmentalists worry about the fragile ecosystem of the area. The noise and explosions negatively impact the animals and remaining residents. If the residents keep their utilities on and mortgage payments on time, they have eminent domain. The FAA is currently looking into environmental impacts.