Voters limit Columbia's eminent domain power

Apr 3, 2013
columbia city hall
File Photo / KBIA

Many Columbia property owners are cheering after City of Columbia Proposition One passed yesterday with nearly 70 percent of the vote. 


If approved, Proposition One would limit the city of Columbia’s ability to designate property as blighted for the purposes of acquiring it with eminent domain. It would also prevent eminent domain from being used to transfer the ownership of property from one private owner to another. Sixth Ward Councilmember Barbara Hoppe proposed the bill. She says that it will help sooth concerns about how the blight designation and eminent domain are used. “Well I think there’s just a general public concern about the overuse and misuse of eminent domaink," she says, "particularly after the Kelo vs.

File / KBIA

Columbia’s economic development leaders are officially asking the Columbia City Council to effectively drop the effort to create an enhanced enterprise zone, or EEZ, in the city.

A city of Columbia's effort to classify certain neighborhoods as blighted to help businesses secure tax credits continues to draw fire from local activists.

The "blight" label is required by the state Department of Economic Development to create Enhanced Enterprise Zones. The zones are distinct areas where businesses can receive tax breaks in return for adding new facilities or jobs.

Opponents say the label will lower property values and could make it easier for local government to seize property under eminent domain laws.

Inside the EEZ Part 1: A fit for Columbia?

May 9, 2012

A proposed enhanced enterprise zone in Columbia has generated a lot of discussion for the last few months. Concerns about the designation of blight required for the EEZ have been widely discussed in the news and at city council meetings. On Monday, Columbia City Council voted to throw out the original proposal and possibly start the process over.  In part 1 of her 3 part series on the EEZ program, KBIA’s Sarah Redohl explores whether Columbia is different from other EEZs.

File / KBIA

The City Council passed Resolution 20-12A to declare some parts of Columbia as “blighted” in February. While the blight decree caused a large amount of backlash from Columbia residents, it was the legality of the resolution that caught the council’s attention. 

More changes to columbia's blight zone

Mar 16, 2012

The Enhanced Enterprise Zone Advising Board considered two options for reducing the size of the zone in Columbia at its meeting Friday.

Blight Decree proposal ramifications discussed by city council

Mar 15, 2012

Concerns about a “blight” designation in the city of Columbia are continuing to come out in public forums. Issues such as using outdated census data from the year 2000, incorporating the first ward in the blighted zone, and potential employment of felons in the new “blighted” areas are among concerns being raised. 

Watch the show and join the conversation on the Intersection website.

Columbia makes changes to its EEZ proposal

Mar 9, 2012

The ongoing debate over the Enhanced Enterprise Zone in Columbia prompted a change today. The proposed blight zone for Columbia is now a little bit smaller.  The Enhanced Enterprise Zone Advisory Board unanimously voted in favor of eliminating six portions of the original blight zone. 

Newscast for March 8, 2012

Mar 8, 2012

Regional news coverage from the KBIA Newsroom, including:

  • House budget would cut services to the blind, restore higher education dollars
  • City takes aim at energy efficiency in rental units
  • Opponents of blight designation voice concerns

Opponents of blight designation voice concerns

Mar 8, 2012

In Columbia, civic leaders and residents continue to voice concerns about plans to classify nearly half of the city as an "enhanced enterprise zone," designed to attract business.