March 1st, 2021 — In
Can My Property Be Taken for Urban Renewal Purposes and Transferred to a Private Redeveloper Even If It’s Not Blighted?
This Article is written by Owners’ Counsel of America for general informational purposes only. It is intended to assist landowners by providing them with some basic information about the legal concept of “blight” as used by urban renewal authorities to justify the accquisition of private property for redevelopment purposes. This Article is not to be viewed as providing legal advice or to be considered as a substitute for consulting with an experienced eminent domain, takings or property rights lawyer on the matters covered herein. The definition of all hyper-linked terms can be found in the Dictionary of Key Terms on the OCA Website. Some History First In the early 1900’s a movement got underway in the United States aimed at addressing so called “slum areas,” where decrepit, unsafe, or dilapidated housing was thought to be the cause of social ills and even crime. Reformers felt that the only solution to this problem was to demolish the existing “slums” and replace them with newer, better, and safer housing. By the 1940’s this movement had shifted to areas that did not meet the definition of a “slum,” but were nonetheless run down and in a state of disrepair. This shift led to a new term to describe the physical conditions at issue: “blight.” Land and urban planners argued that blight was caused by lack of planning, which could be rectified by a detailed program for urban revitalization. Under such a program, the government would identify a blighted area and then create a comprehensive plan […]