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Abstract

This note discusses the issues raised by the policy of seizing land through eminent domain by saying that a certain property is "blighted". The author of the note feels that blight should be limited and not merely a way of saying that economic interests of the city are better served by seizing the property through eminent domain. Part I of this Note describes the background of eminent domain and, in particular, the elimination of blight as a qualifying public use. It summarizes the history of the “public use” requirement in the federal and state context and how economic underutilization fits into the analysis. Part II examines the problem of permitting economic underutilization to be used as evidence in determining whether an area is blighted, as well as the role that economic underutilization played in the outcome of Kaur. Part III argues that New York needs to limit the extent to which a blight determination can be based on economic underutilization. It contends that the legislature should address Kaur and the issue of economic underutilization by restricting the statutory definition of blight.

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