Dandridge Board of Mayor and Aldermen Send Property Rights Resolution to State Lawmakers

Citing a U.S. Supreme Court case and the U.S. Constitution, the Dandridge Board of Mayor and Aldermen made a resolution calling on state lawmakers to protect private property rights, specifically promoting recently filed house and senate bills that close a “blighted area” loophole that enables local government and housing authorities to condemn viable non-blighted property that may exist within a blighted neighborhood. The proposed legislation would distinguish blighted from non-blighted property, protecting those properties from eminent domain that are well kept and not posing a threat to the health and safety of the community.

Under current law, non-blighted properties can be swept up and condemned just by their proximity to blight, then turned over to private developers for upgrading. Senator Frank Niceley (R-Strawberry Plains) and Representative Dale Carr (R-Sevierville) are sponsoring SB 2058 and HB 1880, respectively, to address the issue. Since the Kelo v. New London, 545 U.S. 469 (2005) decision, the Tennessee General Assembly has enacted two public chapters to prevent government from taking private property for private economic development, most notably PC 422 in 2017 which originated in Jefferson County with Resolution 2017-43.

Alderman Jeff Depew presented the Dandridge property rights resolution, which passed on a unanimous vote.

Source: Submitted by David Seal David is a long time educator in Jefferson County, as well as a recognized artist and local businessman. He has also served Jefferson County as a County Commissioner and is a lobbyist for the people on issues such as eminent domain and broadband accessibility on the state level.