California Eminent Domain Reform Bills

September 08, 2006 | By PACIFIC LEGAL FOUNDATION

by Timothy Sandefur

Here is the current list of bills addressing—or claiming to address—eminent domain in California. Whether these laws actually accomplish anything or not is something which I will perhaps discuss later.

SB 53 (Kehoe) requires redevelopment plans to spell out how, when, and where redevelopment officials will use their eminent domain powers, and requires redevelopment officials to document "blight" before extending the time period for using eminent domain.  Status: Governor's Desk.

SB 1206 (Kehoe) tightens the statutory "blight" definition, increases oversight by the State De-partment of Finance, and makes it easier to challenge redevelopment decisions.  Status: Gover-nor's Desk.

SB 1210 (Torlakson) requires redevelopment officials to document "blight" before extending the time period for using eminent domain, and changes the procedures for taking condemned property.  Status: Senate Floor, concurrence pending.

SB 1809 (Machado) requires local officials to add information about a redevelopment agency's possible use of eminent domain in the formal statements that current law already requires officials to record about redevelopment project areas.  Status: Governor's Desk.

AB 773 (Mullin) increases the referendum petition period for redevelopment decisions from 30 days to 90 days.  Status: Signed; Chapter 161, Statutes of 2006.

AB 782 (Mullin) repeals the antiquated subdivision exception to the statutory "blight" defi-nition.  Status: Signed; Chapter 113, Statutes of 2006.

AB 1893 (Salinas) codifies the Ruffo decision, banning redevelopment spending on city halls.  Status: Signed; Chapter 98, Statutes of 2006.

AB 2161 (Klehs) allows new residential units built outside a redevelopment project area in Ala-meda County to count towards affordable housing requirements.  Status: Governor's Desk.

AB 2922 (Jones) requires redevelopment officials to record documents regarding housing af-fordability restrictions and allows suits to enforce affordability restrictions.  Status: Governor's Desk.