Rice Speaks Out About Eminent Domain

TRENTON – Senator Ronald L. Rice proposed today his eminent domain reform bill which would safeguard the practice against abuse while protecting an important community redevelopment tool. There will be a hearing on June 15, 2006.

“Eminent domain is often a controversial developmental tool but one that is sometimes needed to rejuvenate blighted areas.

“I strongly believe that redevelopment is crucial for raising the quality of life for those in New Jersey, both in providing affordable housing and using our scarce land resources more efficiently.

“I have been working with an extensive group of people from various areas of expertise to come up with a plan to balance the public’s concerns of abuse of this process and the legitimate need for redevelopment.

“I want to assure the residents of New Jersey eminent domain issues will be discussed openly. It’s important that every redevelopment proposal provide adequate notice of a municipality’s interest in the property and an opportunity for the public to voice their opinion. It’s also necessary that once taking is approved, that property owners are fairly compensated for their land.”

(NOTE: The bill was proposed today and will be introduced on Monday.)