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Asbury Park Ponders "Spotlight eminent domain"

Posted on Aug 03, 2012

Asbury Park may employ spotlight eminent domain to acquire and demolish dilapidated structures through the state’s abandoned properties law. The issue was discussed at Wednesday’s council meeting.

The Urban Redevelopment Act, N.J.S.A.55:19-56(c)(2) authorizes the taking of individual properties for clearance, development, redevelopment or repair of abandoned properties. Abandoned property is defined as one that has not been legally occupied for six months, and also meets one of four criteria. The four criteria are: the building not being in habitable condition; construction that started and was stopped for six months without the building attaining habitable status; tax delinquency; or a nuisance. The statute defines a nuisance through criteria like vermin, health concerns and crime.

About 40 municipalities in New Jersey have enacted an abandoned property ordinance.

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