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BOSTON-Spurred by the Supreme Court’s recent decision on eminent domain in Kelo v City of New London, a group of Bay State lawmakers are pushing for a bill that would limit the power municipalities have to seize private property for private redevelopment projects. The bill, authored by House Majority Leader Rep. Bradley Jones Jr., would allow the state’s cities and towns to seize private property only in cases where it is “a substandard, decadent or blighted open area” as defined by state law.

“My concern,” Jones tells GlobeSt.com, “is that absence of action by the Legislature can be interpreted as an agreement with the expansion of eminent domain powers by government. That is not something we wish to embrace.”

In the Kelo decision, the justices said states could impose restrictions on eminent domain powers through their constitution or legislative action. Although Jones says he has heard from constituents and other legislators who support the measure, he concedes the bill is likely to draw strong opposition from local officials and agencies who view it as a restriction on efforts to rejuvenate deteriorating neighborhoods. In Massachusetts, state law allows municipalities to take private property to promote private development only if it can be shown that the project will benefit the public through new jobs or an expanded tax base.

A spokeswoman for the Boston Redevelopment Authority, which oversees redevelopment efforts in Boston, tells GlobeSt.com that the agency is wary of any legislation designed to further restrict eminent domain powers. “We don’t think any further restrictions on eminent domain powers are necessary,” the spokesperson says, noting the BRA currently abides by state law that requires it to prove an area is blighted before it can be seized under eminent domain.

But Jones says the only thing his measure will do is uphold that law, not impose further eminent domain restrictions. “It would make sure in Massachusetts that we work with the same standards that are already in place.”

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