Eminent domain refers to the process by which the government may seize private property with proper compensation, but without the owner’s consent. The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution stipulates:
- that the property must be claimed for “a public use;” and,
- that "just compensation" must be provided to the property owner.
In order to claim eminent domain over a property for the purposes of economic development, the government must establish that the property is “blighted." For more information on eminent domain, see NAR's issue summary on the subject.