Tempe challenges eminent domain standard: KPHO-TV5 (Phoenix AZ), 10/15/05

By Associated Press

The city of Tempe has asked the Arizona Supreme Court to overturn the standard set for governments in trying to seize privately owned land in redevelopment efforts.

Tempe's legal challenge to the standard comes in a case in which the city wants to seize land for a massive shopping center.

The city argues that the public will benefit from seizure of blighted properties, even if that means condemning land and turning it over to a private developer who will profit in the deal.

The standard being challenged was established when the city of Mesa tried to condemn a brake shop owner's property so a hardware store could be built there.

The Arizona Court of Appeals ruled in October 2003 that Mesa failed to demonstrate that public benefits from condemnation would substantially outweigh the private nature of the planned use of the site for a hardware store.

KPHO: www.kpho.com