New Jersey Court Tightens Screw on Redevelopment Condemnation

“The Appellate Division of New Jersey Superior Court has narrowed the circumstances in which municipalities may condemn land for redevelopment over the objection of the property owner. Glassboro v. Grossman involved an admittedly derelict structure located on approximately one acre that Glassboro included in a redevelopment area in 2000. In 2017, the town filed a condemnation action to acquire the property by eminent domain “for the purpose of redevelopment . . . and for the specific purpose of increasing the availability of public parking.” The property owner contested the condemnation and the town acknowledged that while public parking is one possible use of the property, the property might instead be used for some other purpose related to redevelopment. The property owner contended that the provision in the Local Redevelopment & Housing Law that authorizes municipalities to condemn land that is “necessary for the redevelopment project” requires the town to establish a definitive need to acquire the parcel in question for an identified redevelopment project. The property owner contended that the mere “stockpiling” of real estate land that might be useful for future redevelopment projects is not permitted.”
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Bruno, Michael. McBarron, Donna. The National Law Review 9 January 2019.