Private Landowners More on...
Toolbox image

Coastal Access Toolkit
For information about drawing up contracts, transferring access, and More...

Law Books image

Common Law & Statutes
For information about land ownership and More...

Eminent Domain & Takings

Eminent domain is the power of a government to take private real estate for public use, with or without the permission of the owner, as long as the acquisition is for a public purpose. In New Jersey, eminent domain is typically used for redevelopment and roads, but could be used for coastal access.

New Jersey has granted the power of eminent domain to its municipalities and the New Jersey Constitution states that they may only seize “blighted” properties for redevelopment. Although eminent domain permits acquisition of land not otherwise for sale, towns cannot expect a break on the price. The property’s owner must be paid fair market value otherwise a "taking" may occur.

The takings clause of the U.S. Constitution states that the government cannot take private property without just compensation. If the current government can afford the land outright, then use of eminent domain to acquire the land might be an option. However, because coastal land is very expensive, the government may be forced into acquiring the land through longer-term purchase agreements, such as paying installments over time, binding future governments that may lack the resources to make regular payments.

Case Studies

See examples of cases pertaining to eminent domain and takings.