California Town Tries the Back Door

by: Anthony F. Della Pelle
17 Jun 2011
Location in the state of California

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Organizations Claim National City, CA Now Attacking Businesses through Rezoning Rather than Eminent Domain

Following a successful challenge by the Community Youth Athletic Center – a club where teenagers train in boxing and receive tutoring for school classes – to a blight designation, National City, California, has decided instead to rezone the redevelopment area.  However, according to a press release by the Institute for Justice, National City’s overhaul of its zoning codes will convert the existing properties into non-conforming uses which it will then acquire through “affirmative termination by amortization.”  According to the Institute, this works by converting the properties to a use which is prohibited and is then shut down after a prescribed period of time.  National City insists that “it allows the current buildings to stay. . . .  But if you’re going to rebuild, then you have to rebuild into a modern downtown framework.”

 A video of Fox News Channel’s coverage of this story, titled “War on Small Business” can be found here.  (The story begins after 45 seconds)


 The following is a press releases from the Institute for Justice:

 Major California Property Rights Victory for Landowners in Eminent Domain Abuse Fight; National City Violated  Federal Constitution and State Laws

 For articles discussing the topic, please see the following:

 National City Declares War on Small Business – The Moral Liberal

 National City Leaders To Discuss Downtown’s Future – KGTV San Diego

 Calif. youth center wins eminent domain battle – Seattle Times

 For previous blog posts on eminent domain in California, please see the following:

 Taking from the Takers? California Budget Would Eliminate Redevelopment Agencies

 Mobile Home Rent Control Ordinance Upheld by California Federal Appeals Court

 National Media Highlights Lack of Oversight and Failure of Redevelopment Projects

 The author wishes to acknowledge the assistance of Cory K. Kestner, Esq., of McKirdy & Riskin, PA, in the preparation of this article.