38 Fordham Urb. L.J. 1119 (2010-2011)
The Use and Abuse of Blight in Eminent Domain

handle is hein.journals/frdurb38 and id is 1127 raw text is: THE USE AND ABUSE OF BLIGHT IN EMINENT
DOMAIN
Martin E. Gold & Lynne B. Sagalyn*
Introduction  ............................................................................................. 1119
I. Blight Determinations: More Facilitating Than Limiting ................. 1121
II.  The  H ierarchy  of U ses  ..................................................................... 1128
Ill. Blight and Public Purpose in Columbia's Expansion in
M anhattanville  .............................................................................. 1143
IV .  A ttem pted  R eform s  ........................................................................ 1150
V .  Conflicting  Political Forces ............................................................. 1160
VI.  Creating  Better Safeguards ............................................................. 1165
C onclusion  ............................................................................................... 1173
INTRODUCTION
Blight findings have functioned as a cornerstone for condemnation tak-
ings since the severe urban decline in the middle of the twentieth century
prompted governments at every level, throughout the country, to actively
intervene in the real estate market. Elements of blight, and then the term
itself, became a foundational basis for this governmental intervention. But
using blight as a basis for that intervention has become increasingly con-
troversial as its application has moved from slum clearance to urban rede-
velopment, then to economic development projects, and on to revenue en-
hancing projects-all the while its definition expanded.         Immediately
following the outcry over the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Kelo v. City
of New London,' homeowners, business activists, and state politicians, or-
* Martin E. Gold is a partner at Sidley Austin LLP, an Adjunct Professor of Real Estate De-
velopment at Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preserva-
tion, and formerly served as New York City's Director of Corporate Law in the New York
City Law Department. Lynne B. Sagalyn is the Earle W. Kazis & Benjamin Schore Profes-
sor of Real Estate at Columbia University Graduate School of Business.
1. 545 U.S. 469 (2005). In Kelo, the city of New London, acting through its develop-
ment agency, approved a development plan to revitalize its ailing economy and initiated
condemnation proceedings against owners of property (residential) that refused to sell. The
Supreme Court said the City could not take petitioners' land simply to confer a private bene-
fit on a particular private party, but that the takings in this case did not benefit a particular
class of identifiable individuals. The City, it observed, was trying to coordinate a variety

1119

What Is HeinOnline?

HeinOnline is a subscription-based resource containing nearly 2,700 academic and legal journals from inception; complete coverage of government documents such as U.S. Statutes at Large, U.S. Code, Federal Register, Code of Federal Regulations, U.S. Reports, and much more. Documents are image-based, fully searchable PDFs with the authority of print combined with the accessibility of a user-friendly and powerful database. For more information, request a quote or trial for your organization below.



Short-term subscription options include 24 hours, 48 hours, or 1 week to HeinOnline with pricing starting as low as $29.95

Access to this content requires a subscription. Please visit the following page to request a quote or trial:

Already a HeinOnline Subscriber?