eminent domain, blight, Fifth Amendment, takings, New York


This Article examines the term "blight" and how it is used in eminent domain cases. Part I discusses the development of the term and how various states define it. Part II lays out a hierarchy which may be used to compare the private benefits on one hand and the public benefits on the other hand in redevelopment projects. In Part III, the Columbia University expansion in Manhattanville is examined, at both the New York Appellate Division and Court of Appeals levels. Part IV discusses how forty-three states redefined blight after the Kelo case. Part V discusses how political and business forces have reduced efforts to enact serious reforms. Finally, Part VI looks again at the redefinitions of blight since Kelo and propose better definitions that reduce abuse.



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