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The New Jersey Constitution authorizes government to take private property and redevelop it for public use upon payment of “just compensation” to the owners (eminent domain). 8:3-1. Whether or not a property is in need of redevelopment is governed by the Local Redevelopment and Housing Law, N.J.S.A. 40A:12A-5. Several subsections of that statute delineate the conditions which, if present, will be deemed to describe an area in need of redevelopment. Until recently, subsection (b) stated that an area could be determined to be in need of redevelopment upon, “the discontinuance of the use of buildings previously used for commercial, manufacturing, or industrial purposes; the abandonment of such buildings; or the same being allowed to fall into so great a state of disrepair as to be untenable.”

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