N.J. lawmakers consider limiting eminent domain powers

    By: Phil Gregory

    A group of Democratic lawmakers in New Jersey lawmakers are proposing changes in the Eminent Domain process by which towns and cities use to take private property.

    By: Phil Gregory
    pgregory@wbgo.org

    A group of Democratic lawmakers in New Jersey lawmakers are proposing changes in the Eminent Domain process by which towns and cities use to take private property.

    Listen:
    [audio: 090615pgdomain.mp3]

    The measure is aimed at protecting property owners from abuse of eminent domain powers. Senate Majority Leader Steve Sweeney is one of the lawmakers proposing tougher standards for seizing land for redevelopment.

    Sweeney: It was such a broad based determination before, the property is under performing we can make it perform better. Now we have to prove it. The burden of proof was always on the property owner. Now the burden of proof is going to be on the government also.

    Proposed changes to a 1971 law would given property owners advance notice of a municipality’s intention to seize property and increase financial assistance provided to displaced tenants so they could relocate to comparable housing.

    Businesses that have their properties taken would get a payment if they lose a location that has high pedestrian traffic or for capital improvements they could not take to another site.

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