Eminent Domain as Central Planning by Nicole Gelinas, City Journal Winter 2010
An over-broad definition of blight (it includes "underutilization") allows cities to condemn land and buildings that aren't blighted at all. (Oklahoma has the same problem, which undermines our state constitutional protection against government seizing land for private use. "In the 1930s...'substandard' and 'unsanitary' meant 'families and children dying from rampant fires and pestilence' in tuberculosis-ridden firetraps. In 2006, by contrast, the UDC's consultants found 'substandard' conditions in isolated graffiti, cracked sidewalks, and 'underutilization'--that is, when property owners weren't using their land to generate the social and economic benefits that the government desired."
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