Long Branch Owners Win on Appeal
Redevelopment Project Suffers Setback
The Appellate Division of the New Jersey Superior Court reversed an earlier trial court opinion which had upheld the right of the City of Long Branch to utlilize its eminent domain powers to condemn oceanfront properties in the City’s Beachfront North Redevelopment. The appellate court remanded the matter for another hearing in the lower court, and determined that there was not substantial evidence that the oceanfront area containing the appellants’ properties was “bighted”. The appellate court’s decision follows the 2007 holding of the New Jersey Supreme Court in Gallenthin Realty Development, Inc. v. Borough of Paulsboro, 191 N.J. 344 (2007). In Gallenthin, the Supreme Court reaffirmed that the New Jersey Constitution requires a finding of actual blight before private property may be taken for redevelopment purposes.
For more information about this redevelopment project and images of what the City of Long Branch considers “blight,” visit the Castle Coalition Blog , the website of the Institute for Justice , or the Eminent Domain Law Blog of the Owners Counsel of America.
The statement of the New Jersey Public Advocate in support of the ruling is available on line at:
McKirdy & Riskin’s Edward McKirdy participated in the appeal as an amicus curiae on behalf of The Reason Foundation and in support of appellant/landowners.