Glendale declares buildings blighted because bathrooms lack handrails


Author: Timothy Sandefur

California's Redevelopment Agencies are probably the single most abusive entities in the state when it comes to private property rights; through aggressive use of the "blight" laws, they are able to channel millions of state dollars into pet projects–and to use eminent domain to benefit politically well-connected developers. The city of Glendale is particularly abusive. Today, the Glendale News Press reports that the city declared a fire station and a library to be "blighted" (and therefore eligible for six-figure grants) because the bathrooms didn't have handrails for the disabled:

The move shows the extent to which Glendale relies on its Redevelopment Agency, which the state is trying to eliminate. To stay alive, agencies have to agree to share redevelopment funding with the state, which the Glendale agency has done. But stretching the definition of what is considered blight, even if it is outside a redevelopment zone, demonstrates what critics have harped on in the past in arguing for the dissolution of local agencies statewide.