The New Jersey General Assembly overwhelmingly passed a bill intending to “clarify” the use of eminent domain by a municipality and amending the due process provisions of the Local Redevelopment and Housing Law (LRHL) that fall within the area of eminent domain, according to the bill’s sponsors. Under the bill, A-3615, a municipality condemn properties if an area is determined to be in need of redevelopment and after the municipality follows established criteria in making such a determination. The bill provides notification requirements and rights of property owners if a town determines an area to be a focus of redevelopment and authorizes the taking of property by condemnation. The new provisions require property owners within such an area to be advised of the municipality’s intention of whether it will use or not use eminent domain at the outset. Unless a municipality properly notifies owners, the LRHL will not authorize the use of eminent domain.

The General Assembly passed the bill 78-0 with 2 members abstaining. The bill now will be reviewed by the NJ Senate.