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  • Moving the Cat Into the Hat: The Pursuit of Fairness in Condemnation, or, Whatever Happened to Creating a "Partnership of Planning?"

    The New York State Commission on Eminent Domain was created by Chapter 621 of the Laws of 1970 “for recodification and modernization of the law, procedures and practices of eminent domain.” The Commission issued its first report in 1971 and noted that there were approximately 3,372 local government units with the power of eminent domain. This figure did not include “[s]tate departments and agencies, public authorities, utilities, and even private bodies,” whose addition would swell the number of condemnors to several thousands more. The Commission further noted that there were “well over 50 various procedures utilized in New York State” at that time. The Commission eventually drafted a proposed Uniform Eminent Domain Procedure Act (EDPA), which was adopted as the Eminent Domain Procedure Law in 1977. In this article, we will concentrate only on those provisions dealing with the determination of the need and location of a public project prior to acquisition—and, the ability to challenge the same.