Imminent Changes To Eminent Domain In New Jersey?

The Asbury Park Press reports on the latest efforts to reform New Jersey's eminent domain law.  In the five years since the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision in Kelo v. City of New London— which upheld the government's right to take land for private redevelopment — 43 states have revised their eminent domain laws, but New Jersey has not yet done so.  On October 7, 2010, a proposal passed the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee that would revise New Jersey's current eminent domain law to require additional notification and hearing requirements in an effort to protect homeowners.  The measure's sponsor touts the proposal as an effective balance between residents' rights and local government's ability to redevelop blighted areas.  Critics have emerged on both sides of the issue – with some saying it goes to far, and others complaining that it doesn't go far enough towards meaningful reform.  As the article notes, the bill "requires at least four additional approvals before it could get to Gov. Chris Christie's desk," so it remains to be seen whether the latest efforts at eminent domain reform will come to fruition or die on the vine as they have in the past.         

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