A Missouri appellate court has ruled that blight isn’t a magic word:
An appellate court ruled this morning that Centene Plaza Redevelopment Corp. should be barred from using condemnation to acquire properties in the heart of Clayton for its $210-million twin towers, office and retail complex.
In an unsigned opinion, Judges Clifford H. Ahrens, Mary K. Hoff and Nannette Baker of the Missouri Court of Appeals stopped short of pulling the economic plug on the project and overruling a lower court decision authorizing condemnation.
Instead, the appeals judges sent the matter to the Missouri Supreme Court “because of the general interest and importance of the issues in this case.”
. . . .
The appellate court concluded, however, that a study by a planning firm, PGAV, suggesting the area was blighted was insufficient evidence for city aldermen to make the blighting determination. [Emphasis Added]
This case will make it to the Missouri Supreme Court, so the matter isn’t yet settled, but it’s good to see that someone in the system doesn’t think blight is a big bucket of paint with which you can coat anything.