A New Jersey appellate court handed a victory to homeowners in a long-running eminent domain dispute with the city of Long Branch, N.J., finding no actual blight in an area set for condemnation and redevelopment.

The case by a group of long-term residents of the coastal strip drew the attention of land use specialists and landowner rights advocates from around the country in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2005 decision allowing cities to use eminent domain to take “blighted” land from one private owner to give to another for development.

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