Eminent-domain bill headed for N.J. Senate: Philadelphia (PA) Business Journal, 6/23/06

New Jersey's Assembly passed a measure Thursday aimed at significantly reforming the state's eminent domain laws, sending it to the Senate for consideration.

The bill, A-3257, would put the burden on government to prove redevelopment is necessary, ensure property owners receive fair market value and require more notice be given when a municipality is looking to redevelop.

The bill also includes provisions that would:
  • Require compensation to equal the highest possible value.
  • Eliminate open-ended blight designation and require municipalities to demonstrate progress 10 years following designation.
  • Prohibit eminent domain from being used in more than 20 percent of the land mass for a redevelopment project.
  • Require eminent domain requests to be consummated within five years of a redevelopment agreement.
  • Require developers and local governments to identify all costs and benefits of proposed projects.
  • Limit nonblighted property in a redevelopment area to 20 percent of land mass.

Assemblyman John J. Burzichelli, D-Gloucester, co-sponsored the measure with Assemblyman Robert Gordon, D-Bergen. The measure was also sponsored by Christopher Bateman, R-Morris/Somerset; Lou Manzo, D-Hudson; and Pamela R. Lampitt, D-Camden.

Philadelphia Business Journal: http://philadelphia.bizjournals.com