South-Western Legal Studies in Business

City Did Not Provide Sufficient Evidence to Condemn Area as Blighted
Description

Missouri high court held that a city acted improperly by giving a real estate developer authority to force sale of property for redevelopment purposes by condemnation proceedings. There was not sufficient evidence that the area was blighted to warrant condemnation.

Topic Real and Personal Property
Key Words

Condemnation; Redevelopment; Blight

C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts

The city of Clayton, Missouri, wished to redevelop a block of land. Centene submitted a plan for the development, which the city approved. When some property owners on the block refused to sell their land to Centene, it moved to have the property condemned as blighted, a designation imposed on the property by the city. The trial court held that Centene had the right, via the city, to condemn the property and buy it for redevelopment purposes. The property owners appealed.

Decision

Reversed. The evidence was insufficient to support a finding that the area proposed for condemnation and redevelopment was a social liability and was blighted. There had been no fire calls or other emergency services for that area in five years. The area needed fewer policy and fire responses than many other areas of the city. There was nothing in the area that would harm public health or safety.

Citation

Centene Plaza Redevelopment Corp. v. Mint Properties, 225 S.W.3d 431 (Sup. Ct., Mo., 2007)

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