Private Development Using Eminent Domain
Private Developer with Eminent Domain Powers
Originally, eminent domain was used only for public projects such as roads and schools. Today, that is no longer true. Local governments routinely give developers eminent domain powers with a legal tool called tax increment financing (TIF) or a similar one whereby the targeted area is first "blighted." By designating an area "blighted," the city then allows the private developer the right to remove the blight through eminent domain.
The city undertakes this "blighting" process to meet the Constitution's requirement of using eminent domain for a public purpose, namely, the removal of the blight. Targeted properties can be condemned for retail development or other private uses in so-called blighted areas. In essence, private property is being condemned to be transferred to another private party. This controversial practice has generated considerable litigation and publicity in recent years. Issues arising from this practice include the legality of the "blighting," challenges to the alleged public purpose and the amount of compensation.
Changing the Playing Field with Eminent Domain
In addition to challenging Tax Increment Financing (TIF) or similar laws, at Denlow & Henry , we often approach the city to negotiate a revision of these rules, including restrictions on the use of eminent domain or an expansion of compensation or relocation benefits. When faced with a private developer who has joined forces with a city to condemn properties, property owners and businesses must take steps to protect their interests by contacting an experienced eminent domain attorney.
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There is no charge for an initial consultation to discuss your situation. Our telephone numbers are 314-725-5151 or 888-566-5151. Ask to speak with an attorney in our office. You can also contact us by e-mail. All communications between you and the members of our firm are confidential.