Property Rights

Daniel Goldstein on Blurry Blight Lines


Over at The Huffington Post, Daniel Goldstein, co-founder of Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn, mocks the "blight" definition used by the Empire State Development Corporation to condemn property coveted by developers like Bruce Ratner (the subject of my column this week):

The apartment I wanted to buy, make my home, and start a family in had to be substandard or insanitary and it had to be in a substandard and insanitary neighborhood.

I wouldn't have it any other way. I could give up outdoor space, good views, good light, good transportation—all of that I could give up.

But substandard and insanitary? That was a must!…

I must have looked at 200 units over the next two years. Not one had that perfect combination I was looking for. The neighborhood was sanitary but the apartment substandard. Or the neighborhood substandard but the apartment sanitary. Or the apartment was substandard and insanitary (hallelujah!) but the neighborhood was standard and sanitary.

It was a nightmare.

Earlier today, Damon Root considered the possibility that the New York State Court of Appeals will rehear Goldstein et al.'s challenge to Ratner's Atlantic Yards project in light of the eminent domain collusion and dishonesty highlighted by last week's decision involving Columbia University's proposed expansion. Goldstein explained why he's fighting on Reason Online in October.