Friday, May 21, 2010

Fighting blight designations

From Fox 5:

From Brooklyn to Long Branch, New Jersey, attorneys representing private citizens have been challenging a state's right to take control of a property for public use.

Historically, few challenges were made to the eminent domain law as it involved the creation of railways, expanded public facilites, etc. But in recent years there has been an increase in legal challenges to the law when 'blight' is used as the primary reason by the state for a takeover.

On Friday, Good Day NY spoke with Attorney Bill Ward who has represented property owners in Long Branch.

"The eminent domain process is subect to abuse. Where the controversy comes in is in redevelopment projects under the Local Redevelopment Housing Law (in NJ) that says certain areas of a city are blighted," Ward told co-host Rosanna Scotto.

"What I would like to see is the state legislature tighten the definition of blighted and eminent domain."

In 2005, following a Supreme Court ruling in favor of the states in an eminent domain case, more than 30 reformed their eminent domain laws.