Eminent domain: Cherry Hill NJ Courier-Post, 6/14/07

Re: "Cramer Hill plan won't take houses"

By Theodore Z Davis

I want to take this opportunity to describe the approach Camden will be pursuing in supporting redevelopment activities in city neighborhoods.

Whenever possible, the city will avoid displacing residents of Camden neighborhoods through the use of eminent domain. As reported in the "Courier-Post," the redevelopment plan proposed for the Cramer Hill neighborhood and presented at a neighborhood meeting on May 30 does not call for the acquisition of any occupied housing.

In other neighborhoods, city agency staff will work closely with community members to identify redevelopment goals and priorities and to implement redevelopment plans based on these goals and priorities. Eminent domain powers will be used to acquire vacant properties and may be used, as a last resort, to acquire occupied properties.

However, the city will do as much as possible to avoid residential displacement and, in those instances in which displacement is proposed to occur, will ensure that affected residents will be offered a choice of housing options that will be equal to or better than their current housing status.

Cherry Hill NJ Courier-Post: http://www.courierpostonline.com

Theodore Z Davis is Chief operating officer of Camden NJ