Possibilities for reform in California

There are two competing initiatives that will be on the ballot in California. The Contra Costa Times makes the case for eminent domain reform, blaming the state legislature for failing to do its job:

Currently, California limits the use of eminent domain by government agencies to “blighted” areas. The definition of “blighted” needs to be reined in.

It has been tightened, but not enough. To be designated blighted, an area should have a preponderance of unsafe and/or vacant buildings not just having structures that are too small or having adjacent properties with incompatible uses, as is now a large part of the definition of blighted.

A reasonable definition of blighted could do much to curb eminent domain abuses, but legislation is also needed to further protect property rights, especially those of homeowners.

Read the rest here.