Saturday, October 04, 2003

Appeals court reinforces property rights in Mesa case

In a ruling with implications for redevelopment efforts in cities across Arizona, a state court yesterday sided with a family-owned brake shop slated for condemnation to make way for a new hardware store in a designated redevelopment area.
The Court of Appeals said Mesa failed to demonstrate that public benefits from the condemnation of Bailey's Brake Services would substantially outweigh the private nature of the planned use of the downtown site.
The Arizona Constitution says public property can be condemned for a use that is "really public" and that courts should decide whether that test has been met.
It's not enough for a local government, such as the Mesa City Council in the Bailey case, to find there's a public need for the project, according to a three-judge panel of the Court of Appeals.
"The city does not propose to take the Baileys' property for a traditional public use such as a street, park or governmental building. Nor is this taking essential for the provision of public services or for reasons of public safety or health," Judge John C. Gemmill wrote.
"Instead, the completion of this redevelopment project will result in the property becoming part of a privately owned retail center with stores, restaurants and office space," Gemmill added...

No comments: