West Virginia Code
This article shall be known and may be cited as the "Urban Renewal Authority Law."
It is hereby found and declared that there exist in localities throughout the state, slum and blighted areas (as herein defined) which constitute a serious and growing menace, injurious and inimical to the public health, safety, morals and welfare of the residents of the state; that the existence of such areas contributes substantially and increasingly to the spread of disease and crime, necessitating excessive and disproportionate expenditures of public funds for the preservation of the public health and safety, for crime prevention, correction, prosecution, punishment and the treatment of juvenile delinquency and for the maintenance of adequate police, fire and accident protection and other public services and facilities, constitutes an economic and social liability, substantially impairs or arrests the sound growth of communities and retards the provision of housing accommodations; that this menace is beyond remedy and control solely by regulatory process in the exercise of the police power and cannot be dealt with effectively by the ordinary operations of private enterprise without the aids herein provided; that the elimination of slum conditions or conditions of blight, the acquisition and preparation of land in or necessary to the development of slum or blighted areas and its sale or lease for development or redevelopment in accordance with general plans and redevelopment plans of communities and any assistance which may be given by any state public body in connection therewith, are public uses and purposes for which public money may be expended and private property acquired; and that the necessity in the public interest for the provisions hereinafter enacted is hereby declared as a matter of legislative determination.
The following terms, wherever used or referred to in this article, shall have the following meanings, unless a different meaning is clearly indicated by the context:
(a) "Area of operation" means in the case of a municipality, the area within such municipality and the area within five miles of the territorial boundaries thereof, except that the area of operation of a municipality under this article shall not include any area which lies within the territorial boundaries of another municipality unless a resolution shall have been adopted by the governing body of such other municipality declaring a need therefor; and in the case of a county, the area within the county, except that the area of operation in such case shall not include any area which lies within the territorial boundaries of a municipality unless a resolution shall have been adopted by the governing body of such municipality declaring a need therefor; and in the case of a regional authority, shall mean the area within the communities for which such regional authority is created: Provided, That a regional authority shall not undertake a redevelopment project within the territorial boundaries of any municipality unless a resolution shall have been adopted by the governing body of such municipality declaring that there is a need for the regional authority to undertake such development project within such municipality. No authority shall operate in any area of operation in which another authority already established is undertaking or carrying out a redevelopment project without the consent, by resolution, of such other authority.
(b) "Authority", "slum clearance and redevelopment authority" or "urban renewal authority" means a public body, corporate and politic, created by or pursuant to section four of this article or any other public body exercising the powers, rights and duties of such an authority as hereinafter provided.
(c) "Blighted area" means an area, other than a slum area, which by reason of the predominance of defective or inadequate street layout, faulty lot layout in relation to size, adequacy, accessibility or usefulness, insanitary or unsafe conditions, deterioration of site improvement, diversity of ownership, tax or special assessment delinquency exceeding the fair value of the land, defective or unusual conditions of title, improper subdivision or obsolete platting, or the existence of conditions which endanger life or property by fire and other causes, or any combination of such factors, substantially impairs or arrests the sound growth of the community, retards the provision of housing accommodations or constitutes an economic or social liability and is a menace to the public health, safety, morals, or welfare in its present condition and use.
(d) "Blighted property" means a tract or parcel of land that, by reason of abandonment, dilapidation, deterioration, age or obsolescence, inadequate provisions for ventilation, light, air or sanitation, high density of population and overcrowding, deterioration of site or other improvements, or the existence of conditions that endanger life or property by fire or other causes, or any combination of such factors, is detrimental to the public health, safety or welfare.
(e) "Bonds" means any bonds, including refunding bonds, notes, interim certificates, debentures, or other obligations issued by an authority pursuant to this article.
(f) "Community" means any municipality or county in the state.
(g) "Clerk" means the clerk or other official of the municipality or county who is the custodian of the official records of such municipality or county.
(h) "Federal government" is the United States of America or any agency or instrumentality, corporate or otherwise, of the United States of America.
(i) "Governing body" means the council or other legislative body charged with governing the municipality or the county court or other legislative body charged with governing the county.
(j) "Mayor" means the officer having the duties customarily imposed upon the executive head of a municipality.
(k) "Municipality" means any incorporated city, town or village in the state.
(l) "Obligee" means any bondholder, agents or trustees for any bondholders, or lessor demising to the authority property used in connection with a redevelopment project, or any assignee or assignees of such lessor's interest or any part thereof, and the federal government when it is a party to any contract with the authority.
(m) "Person" means any individual, firm, partnership, corporation, company, association, joint stock association, or body politic; and shall include any trustee, receiver, assignee, or other similar representative thereof.
(n) "Public body" means the state or any municipality, county, township, board, commission, authority, district, or any other subdivision or public body of the state.
(o) "Real property" includes all lands, including improvements and fixtures thereon, and property of any nature appurtenant thereto, or used in connection therewith, and every estate, interest and right, legal or equitable, therein, including terms for years and liens by way of judgment, mortgage or otherwise and the indebtedness secured by such liens.
(p) "Redeveloper" means any person, partnership, or public or private corporation or agency which shall enter or propose to enter into a redevelopment contract.
(q) "Redevelopment contract" means a contract entered into between an authority and a redeveloper for the redevelopment of an area in conformity with a redevelopment plan.
(r) "Redevelopment plan" means a plan for the acquisition, clearance, reconstruction, rehabilitation, or future use of a redevelopment project area.
(s) "Redevelopment project" means any work or undertaking:
(1) To acquire pursuant to the limitations contained in subdivision (11), section two, article one, chapter fifty-four slum areas or blighted areas or portions thereof, including lands, structures, or improvements the acquisition of which is necessary or incidental to the proper clearance, development or redevelopment of such slum or blighted areas or to the prevention of the spread or recurrence of slum conditions or conditions of blight;
(2) To clear any such areas by demolition or removal of existing buildings, structures, streets, utilities or other improvements thereon and to install, construct, or reconstruct streets, utilities, and site improvements essential to the preparation of sites for uses in accordance with a redevelopment plan;
(3) To sell, lease or otherwise make available land in such areas for residential, recreational, commercial, industrial or other use or for public use or to retain such land for public use, in accordance with a redevelopment plan; and
(4) Preparation of a redevelopment plan, the planning, survey and other work incident to a redevelopment project and the preparation of all plans and arrangements for carrying out a redevelopment project.
(t) "Slum area" means an area in which there is a predominance of buildings or improvements or which is predominantly residential in character, and which, by reason of dilapidation, deterioration, age or obsolescence, inadequate provision for ventilation, light, air, sanitation, or open spaces, high density of population and overcrowding, or the existence of conditions which endanger life or property by fire and other causes, or any combination of such factors, is conducive to ill health, transmission of disease, infant mortality, juvenile delinquency and crime, and is detrimental to the public health, safety, morals or welfare.
(u) "Unblighted property" means a property that is not a blighted property.
(a) There is hereby created in each community (as herein defined) a public body corporate and politic, to be known as the "urban renewal authority" of the community: Provided, however, That such authority shall not transact any business or exercise its powers hereunder until or unless the governing body shall approve (by resolution, as herein provided) the exercise in such community of the powers, functions and duties of an authority under this article: Provided further, That, if it deems such action to be in the public interest, the governing body may, instead of such resolution, adopt a resolution approving the exercise of such powers, functions and duties by the community itself or by the housing authority, if one exists or is subsequently established in the community, and in such event, the community or housing authority, as the case may be, shall be vested with all the powers, functions, rights, duties and privileges of an urban renewal and redevelopment authority under this article.
(b) The governing body of a community shall not adopt a resolution pursuant to subsection (a) above unless it finds:
(1) That one or more slum or blighted areas (as herein defined) exist in such community, and
(2) That the redevelopment of such area or areas is necessary in the interest of the public health, safety, morals or welfare of the residents of such community.
(c) If the governing body of each of two or more communities declares, by resolution, that there is a need for one urban renewal and redevelopment authority to be created for all of such communities, and has made the finding required by paragraph (b), a public body, corporate and politic, to be known as a regional slum clearance and redevelopment authority (herein referred to as regional authority or authority) shall thereupon exist for all of such communities and may exercise the powers and other functions of an authority under this article in such communities.
(d) The area of operation of a regional authority shall be increased from time to time to include one or more additional communities if the governing body of each of such additional communities adopts the resolution described in paragraph (c) and makes the findings required by paragraph (b), and the commissioners of the regional authority consent to the inclusion within its area of operation of such additional communities.
(e) When the governing body of a municipality adopts a resolution as aforesaid, it shall promptly notify the mayor of such adoption. If the resolution adopted is one approving the exercise of powers hereunder by an urban renewal and redevelopment authority, the mayor, by and with the advice and consent of the governing body shall appoint a board of commissioners of the authority created for such municipality which shall consist of no less than five commissioners nor more than seven, and when the governing body of a county adopts such a resolution, said body shall appoint a board of commissioners of the authority created for such county which shall consist of no less than five commissioners nor more than seven. The commissioners who are first appointed pursuant to this article shall be designated to serve for terms of one, two, three and four years, and three of said commissioners for five years, respectively, from the date of their appointment, but thereafter commissioners shall be appointed as aforesaid for a term of office of five years except that all vacancies shall be filled for the unexpired term.
(f) If a regional authority is created as herein provided, one person shall be appointed as a commissioner of such authority for each community for which such authority is created. When the area of operation of a regional authority is increased to include an additional community or communities as herein provided, one additional person shall be appointed as a commissioner of such authority for each such additional community. Each such commissioner appointed for a municipality shall be appointed by the mayor thereof, by and with the advice and consent of the governing body, and each such commissioner appointed for a county shall be appointed by the governing body thereof. The first appointment of commissioner of a regional authority may be made at or after the time of the adoption of the resolution declaring the need for such authority or declaring the need for the inclusion of such community in the area of operation of such authority. The commissioners of a regional authority and their successors shall be appointed as aforesaid for terms of five years except that all vacancies shall be filled for the unexpired terms.
If the area of operation of a regional authority consists at any time of an even number of communities, the commissioners of the regional authority already appointed in the manner described above shall appoint the additional commissioner whose term of office shall be as provided for a commissioner of a regional authority except that such terms shall end at any earlier time that the area of operation of the regional authority shall be changed to consist of an odd number of communities. The commissioners of such authority already appointed in the manner described above shall likewise appoint each person to succeed such additional commissioner: Provided, That the term of office of such person begins during the terms of office of the commissioners appointing him. A certificate of the appointment of any such additional commissioner of such regional authority shall be filed with the other records of the regional authority and shall be conclusive evidence of the due and proper appointment of such additional commissioner.
(g) A commissioner of an authority shall receive no compensation for his services, but shall be entitled to the necessary expenses, including traveling expenses, incurred in the discharge of his duties. Each commissioner shall hold office until his successor has been appointed and has qualified. A certificate of the appointment or reappointment of any commissioner shall be filed with the municipal or county clerk, as the case may be, and such certificate shall be conclusive evidence of the due and proper appointment of such commissioner.
The powers hereunder vested in each urban renewal and redevelopment authority shall be exercised by the board of commissioners thereof. A majority of the commissioners shall constitute a quorum of such board for the purpose of conducting business and exercising the powers of the authority and for all other purposes. Action may be taken by the board upon a vote of a majority of the commissioners present, unless in any case the bylaws of the authority shall require a larger number. Meetings of the board of an authority may be held anywhere within the perimeter boundaries of the area of operation of the authority. Any persons may be appointed as commissioners of the authority if they reside within such area, and are otherwise eligible for such appointments under this article.
The commissioners of an authority shall elect a chairman and vice chairman from among the commissioners. An authority may employ an executive director, technical experts and such other officers, agents and employees, permanent and temporary, as it may require, and shall determine their qualifications, duties and compensation. For such legal services as it may require, an authority may, with the approval of the mayor (or of the governing body in the case of a county), call upon the chief law officer of the communities within its area of operation or it may employ its own counsel and legal staff. An authority may delegate to one or more of its agents or employees such powers or duties as it may deem proper.
(h) For inefficiency or neglect of duty or misconduct in office, a commissioner of an authority may be removed by the official or public body which appointed such commissioner, but a commissioner shall be removed only after a hearing and after he shall have been given a copy of the charges at least ten days prior to such hearing and have had an opportunity to be heard in person or by counsel. In the event of the removal of any commissioner, a record of the proceedings, together with the charges and findings thereof, shall be filed in the office of the municipal or county clerk, as the case may be.
(i) In any suit, action or proceeding involving the validity or enforcement of or relating to any contract of or bonds issued by an authority, the authority shall be conclusively deemed to have become established and authorized to transact business and exercise its powers hereunder upon proof of the adoption of the appropriate resolution prescribed in subsection (a) or (c) above. Each such resolution shall be deemed sufficient if it authorizes the exercise of powers hereunder by the authority or other public body and finds in substantially the terms provided in subsection (b) (no further details being necessary) that the conditions therein enumerated exist. A copy of such resolution duly certified by the municipal or county clerk, as the case may be, shall be admissible in evidence in any suit, action or proceeding.
(j) No commissioner or employee of an authority shall voluntarily acquire any interest, direct or indirect, in any redevelopment project or in any property included or planned by the authority to be included in any such project, or in any contract or proposed contract in connection with any such project. Where the acquisition is not voluntary such commissioner or employee shall immediately disclose such interest in writing to the authority and such disclosure shall be entered upon the minutes of the authority. A commissioner or employee who owns or controls any interest, direct or indirect, in such property shall not participate in any action by the authority affecting the property. If any commissioner or employee of an authority owned or controlled within the preceding two years an interest, direct or indirect, in any property included or planned by the authority to be included in any redevelopment project, he immediately shall disclose such interest in writing to the authority and such disclosure shall be entered upon the minutes of the authority. Upon such disclosure such commissioner or employee shall not participate in any action by the authority affecting such property. Any violation of the provisions of this section shall constitute misconduct in office.
An authority shall constitute a public body corporate and politic, exercising public and essential governmental functions, and having all the powers necessary or convenient to carry out and effectuate the purposes and provisions of this article, including the following powers in addition to others herein granted:
(a) To sue and to be sued; to have a seal and to alter the same at pleasure; to have perpetual succession; to make and execute contracts and other instruments necessary or convenient to the exercise of the powers of the authority; and to make and from time to time amend and repeal bylaws, rules and regulations, not inconsistent with this article, to carry out the provisions of this article.
(b) To prepare or cause to be prepared and recommend redevelopment plans to the governing body of the community or communities within its area of operation and to undertake and carry out redevelopment projects within its area of operation.
(c) To arrange or contract for the furnishing or repair, by any person or agency, public or private, of services, privileges, works, streets, roads, public utilities or other facilities for or in connection with a redevelopment project; and (notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in this article or any other provision of law), to agree to any conditions that it may deem reasonable and appropriate attached to federal financial assistance and imposed pursuant to federal law relating to the determination of prevailing salaries or wages or compliance with labor standards, in the undertaking or carrying out of a redevelopment project, and to include in any contract let in connection with such a project, provisions to fulfill such of said conditions as it may deem reasonable and appropriate.
(d) Within its area of operation, to purchase, lease, obtain options upon, acquire by gift, grant, bequest, devise, eminent domain or otherwise, any real or personal property or any interest therein, together with any improvements thereon, necessary or incidental to a redevelopment project; to hold, improve, clear or prepare for redevelopment any such property; to sell, lease, exchange, transfer, assign, subdivide, retain for its own use, mortgage, pledge, hypothecate or otherwise encumber or dispose of any real or personal property or any interest therein; to enter into contracts with redevelopers of property containing covenants, restrictions and conditions regarding the use of such property for residential, commercial, industrial, recreational purposes or for public purposes in accordance with the redevelopment plan and such other covenants, restrictions and conditions as the authority may deem necessary to prevent a recurrence of slum or blighted areas or to effectuate the purposes of this article; to make any of the covenants, restrictions or conditions of the foregoing contracts covenants running with the land, and to provide appropriate remedies for any breach of any such covenants or conditions, including the right in the authority to terminate such contracts and any interest in the property created pursuant thereto; to borrow money and issue bonds and provide security for loans or bonds; to insure or provide for the insurance of any real or personal property or operations of the authority against any risks or hazards, including the power to pay premiums on any such insurance; and to enter into any contracts necessary to effectuate the purposes of this article. No statutory provision with respect to the acquisition, clearance or disposition of property by other public bodies shall restrict an authority or other public body exercising powers hereunder, in such functions, unless the Legislature shall specifically so state.
(e) To invest any funds held in reserves or sinking funds or any funds not required for immediate disbursement, in property or securities in which savings banks may legally invest funds subject to their control; to redeem its bonds at the redemption price established therein or to purchase its bonds at less than redemption price, all bonds so redeemed or purchased to be cancelled.
(f) To acquire real property in an urban renewal area prior to approval of an urban renewal plan, or approval of any modifications of the plan, demolish and remove any structure on the property, and pay all costs related to the acquisition, demolition or removal, including any administrative or relocation expense, provided it shall be deemed necessary by an authority, and with the approval of the local governing body which shall assume the responsibility to bear any loss that may arise as the result of the exercise of the authority under this section, in the event that the real property is not made part of the urban renewal project.
(g) To borrow money and to apply for and accept advances, loans, grants, contributions and any other form of financial assistance from the federal government, the state, county, municipality or other public body or from any sources, public or private, for the purposes of this article, to give such security as may be required and to enter into and carry out contracts in connection therewith; an authority, notwithstanding the provisions of any other law, may include in any contract for financial assistance with the federal government for a redevelopment project such conditions imposed pursuant to federal law as the authority may deem reasonable and appropriate and which are not inconsistent with the purposes of this article.
(h) Acting through one or more commissioners or other persons designated by the authority, to conduct examinations and investigations and to hear testimony and take proof under oath at public or private hearings on any matter material for its information; to administer oaths, and to issue commissions for the examination of witnesses who are outside of the state or unable to attend before the authority, or excused from attendance; to make available to appropriate agencies or public officials (including those charged with the duty of abating or requiring the correction of nuisances or like conditions or of demolishing unsafe or insanitary structures or eliminating slums or conditions of blight within its area of operation) its findings and recommendations with regard to any building or property where conditions exist which are dangerous to the public health, safety, morals or welfare.
(i) Within its area of operation, to make or have made all surveys, appraisals, studies and plans (but not including the preparation of a general plan for the community) necessary to the carrying out of the purposes of this article and to contract or cooperate with any and all persons or agencies, public or private, in the making and carrying out of such surveys, appraisals, studies and plans.
(j) To prepare plans and provide reasonable assistance for the relocation of families displaced from a redevelopment project area to permit the carrying out of the redevelopment project, to the extent essential for acquiring possession of and clearing such area or parts thereof.
(k) To make such expenditures as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this article; and to make expenditures from funds obtained from the federal government without regard to any other laws pertaining to the making and approval of appropriations and expenditures.
(l) To exercise all or any part or combination of powers herein granted.
(a) An authority shall not acquire real property for a redevelopment project unless the governing body of the community in which the redevelopment project area is located has approved the redevelopment plans, as prescribed in subsection (i) below.
(b) An authority shall not prepare a redevelopment plan for a redevelopment project area unless the governing body of the community in which such area is located has, by resolution, declared such area to be a slum or blighted area in need of redevelopment.
(c) An authority shall not recommend a redevelopment plan to the governing body of the community in which the redevelopment project area is located until a general plan for the development of the community has been prepared.
(d) The authority may itself prepare or cause to be prepared a redevelopment plan or any person or agency, public or private, may submit such a plan to an authority. A redevelopment plan shall be sufficiently complete to indicate its relationship to definite local objectives as to appropriate land uses, improved traffic, public transportation, public utilities, recreational and community facilities and other public improvements and the proposed land uses and building requirements in the redevelopment project area, and shall include without being limited to:
(1) The boundaries of the redevelopment project area, with a map showing the existing uses and conditions of the real property therein;
(2) A land use plan showing proposed uses of the area;
(3) Information showing the standards of population densities, land coverage and building intensities in the area after redevelopment;
(4) A statement of the proposed changes, if any, in zoning ordinances or maps, street layouts, street levels or grades, building codes and ordinances;
(5) A site plan of the area; and
(6) A statement as to the kind and number of additional public facilities or utilities which will be required to support the new land uses in the area after redevelopment.
(e) Prior to recommending a redevelopment plan to the governing body for approval, an authority shall submit such plan to the planning commission of the community in which the redevelopment project area is located for review and recommendations as to its conformity with the general plan for the development of the community as a whole. The planning commission shall submit its written recommendations with respect to the proposed redevelopment plan to the authority within thirty days after receipt of the plan for review. Upon receipt of the recommendations of the planning commission or, if no recommendations are received within said thirty days, then without such recommendations, an authority may recommend the redevelopment plan to the governing body of the community for approval.
(f) Prior to recommending a redevelopment plan to the governing body for approval, an authority shall consider whether the proposed land uses and building requirements in the redevelopment project area are designed with the general purpose of accomplishing, in conformance with the general plan, a coordinated, adjusted and harmonious development of the community and its environs which will, in accordance with present and future needs, promote health, safety, morals, order, convenience, prosperity and the general welfare, as well as efficiency and economy in the process of development; including, among other things, adequate provision for traffic, vehicular parking, the promotion of safety from fire, panic and other dangers, adequate provision for light and air, the promotion of the healthful and convenient distribution of population, the provision of adequate transportation, water, sewerage and other public utilities, schools, parks, recreational and community facilities and other public requirements, the promotion of sound design and arrangement, the wise and efficient expenditure of public funds, the prevention of the recurrence of insanitary or unsafe dwelling accommodations, slums, or conditions of blight, and the provision of adequate, safe and sanitary dwelling accommodations.
(g) The recommendation of a redevelopment plan by an authority to the governing body shall be accompanied by the recommendations, if any, of the planning commission concerning the redevelopment plan; a statement of the proposed method and estimated cost of the acquisition and preparation for redevelopment of the redevelopment project area and the estimated proceeds or revenues from its disposal to redevelopers; a statement of the proposed method of financing the redevelopment project; and a statement of a feasible method proposed for the relocation of families to be displaced from the redevelopment project area.
(h) The governing body of the community shall hold a public hearing on any redevelopment plan or substantial modification thereof recommended by the authority, after public notice thereof by publication as a Class II legal advertisement in compliance with the provisions of article three, chapter fifty-nine of this code, and the publication area for such publication shall be the community. Public notice shall also include notice by certified letter, return receipt requested to each property owner of record of all affected properties of the proposed project. The notice shall include:
(1) Notice of the public hearing time, date and location;
(2) The right to have an inspection by the municipal authority to determine if the property is blighted or unblighted;
(3) The inspection procedures; and
(4) The rights the property owner has pursuant to section six-a of this article relating to unblighted properties in blighted or slum areas.
The last publication shall be at least ten days prior to the date set for the hearing. The notice shall describe the time, date, place and purpose of the hearing and shall also generally identify the area to be redeveloped under the plan. All interested parties shall be afforded at such public hearing a reasonable opportunity to express their views respecting the proposed redevelopment plan. The municipal authority shall consider reasonable alternatives for the redevelopment project that will minimize the use of eminent domain against any properties that are not blighted.
(i) Following such hearing, the governing body may approve a redevelopment plan if it finds that said plan is feasible and in conformity with the general plan for the development of the community as a whole: Provided, That if the redevelopment project area is a blighted area, the governing body must also find that a shortage of housing of sound standards and designs, adequate for family life, exists in the community; the need for housing accommodations has been or will be increased as a result of the clearance of slums in other areas under redevelopment; the conditions of blight in the redevelopment project area and the shortage of decent, safe and sanitary housing cause or contribute to an increase in and spread of disease and crime and constitute a menace to the public health, safety, morals or welfare; and that the development of the blighted area for predominantly residential uses is an integral part of and essential to the program of the community for the elimination of slum areas. A redevelopment plan which has not been approved by the governing body when recommended by the authority may again be recommended to it with any modifications deemed advisable.
(j) A redevelopment plan may be modified at any time by the authority: Provided, That if modified after the lease or sale of real property in the redevelopment project area, the modification must be consented to by the redeveloper or redevelopers of such real property or his successor, or their successors in interest affected by the proposed modification. Where the proposed modification will substantially change the redevelopment plan as previously approved by the governing body the modification must similarly be approved by the governing body.
(a) The municipal authority shall have the burden to show that a property is blighted. If the property owner does not allow the authority to conduct an inspection of the property to determine whether it is appropriate to deem the property blighted or unblighted, then it is a rebuttable presumption that the property is blighted.
(b) When any area has been declared to be slum and blighted, pursuant to the provisions of this article, if a private property within that area is found to not be a blighted property, then to condemn the property pursuant to article two, chapter fifty four of the code, the municipal authority must demonstrate, in addition to all other lawful condemnation requirements, that the project or program requiring the clearance of the slum and blighted area:
(1) Cannot proceed without the condemnation of the private property at issue;
(2) That the private property shown not to be blighted cannot be integrated into the proposed project or program once the slum and blighted area surrounding such property is taken and cleared;
(3) That the condemnation of the unblighted property is necessary for the clearance of an area deemed to be slum or blighted;
(4) That other alternatives to the condemnation of the unblighted property are not reasonably practical;
(5) That every reasonable effort has been taken to ensure that the unblighted property and its owners have been given a reasonable opportunity to be included in the redevelopment project or plan without the use of eminent domain;
(6) That no alternative site within the slum and blighted area is available for purchase by negotiation that might substitute as a site for the unblighted property;
(7) That the redevelopment project or plan could not be restructured to avoid the taking of the unblighted property;
(8) That the redevelopment project or plan could not be carried out without the use of eminent domain; and
(9) That there is specific use for the unblighted property to be taken and a plan to redevelop and convert the unblighted property from its current use to the stated specific use basically exists.
(c) In any case when the municipal authority has decided to pursue condemnation, the property owner shall have the right to seek review in the circuit court within the county wherein the property lies. Prior to authorizing condemnation as provided pursuant to article two, chapter fifty-four of the code, the court must find that the property is blighted, or if unblighted, that the authority has met the requirements of subsection (b) of this section.
(d) All of the rights and remedies contained in article three, chapter fifty-four of this code concerning relocation assistance are available to the private property owner whose unblighted property is being condemned, and if the property to be condemned contains a business owned by the property owner, the property owner is entitled to the amount, if any, which when added to the acquisition cost of the property acquired by the condemning authority, equals the reasonable cost of obtaining a comparable building or property having substantially the same characteristics of the property sought to be taken.
(a) An authority may sell, lease, exchange or otherwise transfer real property or any interest therein in a redevelopment project area to any redeveloper for residential, recreational, commercial, industrial or other uses or for public use in accordance with the redevelopment plan, subject to such covenants, conditions and restrictions as it may deem to be in the public interest or to carry out the purposes of this article: Provided, That such sale, lease, exchange or other transfer, and any agreement relating thereto, may be made only after, or subject to, the approval of the redevelopment plan by the governing body of the community. Such real property shall be sold, leased or transferred at its fair value for uses in accordance with the redevelopment plan notwithstanding such value may be less than the cost of acquiring and preparing such property for redevelopment. In determining the fair value of real property for uses in accordance with the redevelopment plan, an authority shall take into account and give consideration to the uses and purposes required by such plan; the restrictions upon, and the covenants, conditions and obligations assumed by the redeveloper of, such property; the objectives of the redevelopment plan for the prevention of the recurrence of slum or blighted areas; and such other matters as the authority shall specify as being appropriate. In fixing rentals and selling prices, an authority shall give consideration to appraisals of the property for such uses made by land experts employed by the authority.
(b) An authority shall publish the following notice as a Class II legal advertisement in compliance with the provisions of article three, chapter fifty-nine of this code, and the publication area for such publication shall be the community. The notice shall be published prior to the consideration of any redevelopment contract proposal, and shall invite proposals from, and make available all pertinent information to private redevelopers or any persons interested in undertaking the redevelopment of an area, or any part thereof, which the governing body has declared to be in need of redevelopment. Such notice shall identify the area, and shall state that such further information as is available may be obtained at the office of the authority. The authority shall consider all redevelopment proposals and the financial and legal ability of the prospective redevelopers to carry out their proposals and may negotiate with any redevelopers for proposals for the purchase or lease of any real property in the redevelopment project area. The authority may accept such redevelopment contract proposal as it deems to be in the public interest and in furtherance of the purposes of this article: Provided, That the authority has, not less than thirty days prior thereto, notified the governing body in writing of its intention to accept such redevelopment contract proposal. Thereafter, the authority may execute such redevelopment contract in accordance with the provisions of subsection (a) and deliver deeds, leases and other instruments and take all steps necessary to effectuate such redevelopment contract. In its discretion, the authority may, without regard to the foregoing provisions of this subsection, dispose of real property in a redevelopment project area to private redevelopers for redevelopment under such reasonable competitive bidding procedures as it shall prescribe, subject to the provisions of subsection (a).
(c) In carrying out a redevelopment project, an authority may:
(1) Convey to the community in which the project is located, such real property as, in accordance with the redevelopment plan, is to be laid out into streets, alleys, and public ways;
(2) Grant servitudes, easements and rights-of-way, for public utilities, sewers, streets and other similar facilities, in accordance with the redevelopment plan; and
(3) Convey to the municipality, county or other appropriate public body, such real property as, in accordance with the redevelopment plan, is to be used for parks, schools, public buildings, facilities or other public purposes.
(d) An authority may temporarily operate and maintain real property in a redevelopment project area pending the disposition of the property for redevelopment, without regard to the provisions of subsections (a) and (b) above, for such uses and purposes as may be deemed desirable even though not in conformity with the redevelopment plan.
(a) An authority shall have the right to acquire by the exercise of the power of eminent domain, pursuant to the limitations contained in subdivision (11), section two, article one, chapter fifty-four, any real property which it may deem necessary for a redevelopment project or for its purposes under this article after the adoption by it of a resolution declaring that the acquisition of the real property described therein is necessary for such purposes. An authority may exercise the power of eminent domain in the manner provided for condemnation proceedings, in chapter fifty-four of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, or it may exercise the power of eminent domain in the manner now or which may be hereafter provided by any other statutory provisions for the exercise of the power of eminent domain. Property already devoted to a public use may be acquired in like manner: Provided, That no real property belonging to the municipality, the county or the state may be acquired without its consent.
(b) When an authority has found and determined by resolution that certain real property described therein is necessary for a redevelopment project or for its purposes under this article, the resolution shall be conclusive evidence that the acquisition of such real property is necessary for the purposes described therein.
In the event any urban renewal authority or other public body shall determine that any public utility line or facility located upon, across or under any portion of a street, avenue, highway, road or other public place or way shall be temporarily or permanently readjusted, removed, relocated, changed in grade or otherwise altered (each and all hereinafter for convenience referred to as "relocation") in order to accommodate any urban redevelopment or slum clearance project undertaken pursuant to the provisions of this article, the cost of such relocation shall be borne by the urban renewal authority or other public body making the same necessary.
For purposes of this section, the term "cost of relocation" shall include the entire amount paid by such utility, exclusive of any right-of-way costs incurred by such utility, properly attributable to such relocation after deducting therefrom any increase in the value of the new line or facility and salvage derived from the old line or facility.
The cost of relocating utility lines or facilities, as defined herein, in connection with any federal-aid urban redevelopment or slum clearance project is hereby declared to be a cost of such project.
Under no circumstances whatever shall the foregoing provisions of this section be applicable to any conventional urban renewal project, urban redevelopment or slum clearance project or neighborhood development project for which an application for federal funding shall have been made prior to the effective date of this section.
Upon a determination, by resolution, of the governing body of the community in which such land is located that the acquisition and development of undeveloped vacant land, not within a slum or blighted area, is essential to the proper clearance or redevelopment of slum or blighted areas or a necessary part of the general slum clearance program of the community, the acquisition, planning, preparation for development or disposal of such land shall constitute a redevelopment project which may be undertaken by the authority in the manner provided in the foregoing sections. The determination by the governing body shall be in lieu of the declaration required by section six-b above but shall not be made until the governing body finds that there is a shortage of decent, safe and sanitary housing in the community; that such undeveloped vacant land will be developed for predominantly residential uses; and that the provision of dwelling accommodations on such undeveloped vacant land is necessary to accomplish the relocation, in decent, safe and sanitary housing in the community, of families to be displaced from slum or blighted areas which are to be redeveloped: Provided, however, That in the undertaking of redevelopment projects on a regional or unified metropolitan basis, involving the acquisition and development of undeveloped vacant land in one community as an adjunct to the redevelopment of slum or blighted areas in another community, each determination or finding required in this subsection shall be made by the governing body of the community with respect to which the determination or finding relates.
(a) An authority shall have power to issue bonds from time to time in its discretion for any of its corporate purposes including the payment of principal and interest upon any advances for surveys and plans for redevelopment projects. An authority shall also have power to issue refunding bonds for the purpose of paying or retiring or in exchange for bonds previously issued by it. An authority may issue such types of bonds as it may determine, including (without limiting the generality of the foregoing) bonds on which the principal and interest are payable:
(1) Exclusively from the income, proceeds and revenues of the redevelopment project financed with the proceeds of such bonds; or
(2) Exclusively from the income, proceeds and revenues of any of its redevelopment projects whether or not they are financed in whole or in part with the proceeds of such bonds: Provided, That any such bonds may be additionally secured by a pledge of any loan, grant or contributions, or parts thereof, from the federal government or other sources, or a mortgage of any redevelopment project or projects of the authority.
(b) Neither the commissioners of an authority nor any person executing the bonds shall be liable personally on the bonds by reason of the issuance thereof. The bonds and other obligations of the authority (and such bonds and obligations shall so state on their face) shall not be a debt of the municipality, the county or the state and neither the municipality, the county nor the state shall be liable thereon, nor in any event shall such bonds or obligations be payable out of any funds or properties other than those of said authority acquired for the purposes of this article. The bonds shall not constitute an indebtedness within the meaning of any Constitutional or statutory debt limitation or restriction. Bonds of an authority are declared to be issued for an essential public and governmental purpose and to be public instrumentalities and, together with interest thereon and income therefrom, shall be exempt from all taxes. Such bonds need not be offered by the authority to the state sinking fund commission at any time and an authority shall not be required to turn over any surplus or sinking funds to the state sinking fund commission.
(c) Bonds of an authority shall be authorized by its resolution and may be issued in one or more series and shall bear such date or dates, be payable upon demand or mature at such time or times, bear interest at such rate or rates, not exceeding twelve per centum per annum, be in such denomination or denominations, be in such form either coupon or registered, carry such conversion or registration privileges, have such rank or priority, be executed in such manner, be payable in such medium of payment, at such place or places, and be subject to such terms of redemption (with or without premium) as such resolution, its trust indenture or mortgage may provide.
(d) The bonds shall be sold at not less than par at public sale held after notice published as a Class I legal advertisement in compliance with the provisions of article three, chapter fifty-nine of this code, and the publication area for such publication shall be the area of operation. Such publication shall be made at least ten days prior to such sale. The notice may be published in such other medium of publication as the authority may determine: Provided, That such bonds may be sold to the federal government at private sale at not less than par, and, in the event less than all of the bonds authorized in connection with any project or projects are sold to the federal government, the balance of such bonds may be sold at private sale at not less than par at an interest cost to the authority of not to exceed the interest cost to the authority of the portion of the bonds sold to the federal government.
(e) In case any of the commissioners or officers of the authority whose signatures appear on any bonds or coupons shall cease to be such commissioners or officers before the delivery of such bonds, such signatures shall, nevertheless, be valid and sufficient for all purposes, the same as if such commissioners or officers had remained in office until such delivery. Any provision of any law to the contrary notwithstanding, any bonds issued pursuant to this article shall be fully negotiable.
(f) In any suit, action or proceedings involving the validity or enforceability of any bond of an authority or the security therefor, any such bond reciting in substance that it has been issued by the authority to aid in financing a redevelopment project, as herein defined, shall be conclusively deemed to have been issued for such purpose and such project shall be conclusively deemed to have been planned, located and carried out in accordance with the purposes and provisions of this article.
(a) In connection with the issuance of bonds or the incurring of obligations under leases and in order to secure the payment of such bonds or obligations, an authority, in addition to its other powers, shall have power:
(1) To pledge all or any part of its gross or net rents, fees or revenues to which its right then exists or may thereafter come into existence.
(2) To mortgage all or any part of its real or personal property, then owned or thereafter acquired.
(3) To covenant against pledging all or any part of its rents, fees and revenues, or against mortgaging all or any part of its real or personal property, to which its right or title then exists or may thereafter come into existence or against permitting or suffering any lien on such revenues or property; to covenant with respect to limitations on its right to sell, lease or otherwise dispose of any redevelopment project or any part thereof; and to covenant as to what other, or additional debts or obligations may be incurred by it.
(4) To covenant as to the bonds to be issued and as to the issuance of such bonds in escrow or otherwise, and as to the use and disposition of the proceeds thereof; to provide for the replacement of lost, destroyed or mutilated bonds; to covenant against extending the time for the payment of its bonds or interest thereon; and to covenant for the redemption of the bonds and to provide the terms and conditions thereof.
(5) To covenant (subject to the limitations contained in this article) as to the amount of revenues to be raised each year or other period of time by rents, fees and other revenues, and as to the use and disposition to be made thereof; to create or to authorize the creation of special funds for moneys held for operating costs, debt service, reserves, or other purposes, and to covenant as to the use and disposition of the moneys held in such funds.
(6) To prescribe the procedure, if any, by which the terms of any contract with bondholders may be amended or abrogated, the amount of bonds the holders of which must consent thereto and the manner in which such consent may be given.
(7) To covenant as to the use, maintenance and replacement of any or all of its real or personal property, the insurance to be carried thereon and the use and disposition of insurance moneys, and to warrant its title to such property.
(8) To covenant as to the rights, liabilities, powers and duties arising upon the breach by it of any covenants, condition or obligation; and to covenant and prescribe as to events of default and terms and conditions upon which any or all of its bonds or obligations shall become or may be declared due before maturity, and as to the terms and conditions upon which such declaration and its consequences may be waived.
(9) To vest in any obligees of the authority the right to enforce the payment of the bonds or any covenants securing or relating to the bonds; to vest in any obligee or obligees holding a specified amount in bonds the right, in the event of a default by said authority, to take possession of and use, operate and manage any redevelopment project or any part thereof, title to which is in the authority, or any funds connected therewith, and to collect the rents and revenues arising therefrom and to dispose of such moneys in accordance with the agreement of the authority with such obligees; to provide for the powers and duties of such obligees and to limit the liabilities thereof; and to provide the terms and conditions upon which such obligees may enforce any covenant or rights securing or relating to the bonds.
(10) To exercise all or any part or combination of the powers herein granted; to make such covenants (other than and in addition to the covenants herein expressly authorized) and to do any and all such acts and things as may be necessary or convenient or desirable in order to secure its bonds, or, in the absolute discretion of said authority, as will tend to make the bonds more marketable notwithstanding that such covenants, acts or things may not be enumerated herein.
(b) An authority shall have power by its resolution, trust indenture, mortgage, lease or other contract to confer upon any obligee holding or representing a specified amount in bonds, the right (in addition to all rights that may otherwise be conferred), upon the happening of an event of default as defined in such resolution or instrument, by suit, action or proceeding in any court of competent jurisdiction:
(1) To cause possession of any redevelopment project or any part thereof, title to which is in the authority, to be surrendered to any such obligee;
(2) To obtain the appointment of a receiver of any redevelopment project of said authority or any part thereof, title to which is in the authority, and of the rents and profits therefrom. If such receiver be appointed, he may enter and take possession of, carry out, operate and maintain such project or any part thereof and collect and receive all fees, rents, revenues, or other charges thereafter arising therefrom, and shall keep such moneys in a separate account or accounts and apply the same in accordance with the obligations of said authority as the court shall direct; and
(3) To require said authority and the commissioner, officers, agents and employees thereof to account as if it and they were the trustees of an express trust.
An obligee of an authority shall have the right in addition to all other rights which may be conferred on such obligee, subject only to any contractual restrictions binding upon such obligee:
(a) By mandamus, suit, action or proceeding at law or in equity to compel said authority and the commissioners, officers, agents or employees thereof to perform each and every term, provision and covenant contained in any contract of said authority with or for the benefit of such obligee, and to require the carrying out of any or all such covenants and agreements of said authority and the fulfillment of all duties imposed upon said authority by this article; and
(b) By suit, action or proceeding in equity, to enjoin any acts or things which may be unlawful, or the violation of any of the rights of such obligee of said authority.
All public officers, municipal corporations, political subdivisions and public bodies; all banks, trust companies, bankers, savings banks and institutions, building and loan associations, savings and loan associations, investment companies and other persons carrying on a banking business; all insurance companies, insurance associations, and other persons carrying on an insurance business; and all executors, administrators, curators, trustees, and other fiduciaries may legally invest any sinking funds, moneys, or other funds belonging to them or within their control in any bonds or other obligations issued by an authority pursuant to this article or by any public housing or redevelopment authority or commission, or agency or any other public body in the United States for redevelopment purposes, when such bonds and other obligations are secured by an agreement between the issuing agency and the federal government in which the issuing agency agrees to borrow from the federal government and the federal government agrees to lend to the issuing agency, prior to the maturity of such bonds or other obligations, moneys in an amount which (together with any other moneys irrevocably committed to the payment of interest on such bonds or other obligation) will suffice to pay the principal of such bonds or other obligations with interest to maturity thereon, which moneys under the terms of said agreement are required to be used for the purpose of paying the principal of and the interest on such bonds or other obligations at their maturity, and such bonds and other obligations shall be authorized security for all public deposits. It is the purpose of this section to authorize any persons, political subdivisions and officers, public or private, to use any funds owned or controlled by them for the purchase of any such bonds or other obligations. However, nothing contained in this section with regard to legal investments shall be construed as relieving any person of any duty of exercising reasonable care in selecting securities.
In any contract for financial assistance with the federal government the authority may obligate itself (which obligation shall be specifically enforceable and shall not constitute a mortgage, notwithstanding any other laws) to convey to the federal government possessions of or title to the redevelopment project and land therein to which such contract relates which is owned by the authority, upon the occurrence of a substantial default (as defined in such contract) with respect to the covenants or conditions to which the authority is subject; such contract may further provide that in case of such conveyance, the federal government may complete, operate, manage, lease, convey or otherwise deal with the redevelopment project in accordance with the terms of such contract: Provided, That the contract requires that, as soon as practicable after the federal government is satisfied that all defaults with respect to the redevelopment project have been cured and that the redevelopment project will thereafter be operated in accordance with the terms of the contract, the federal government shall reconvey to the authority the redevelopment project as then constituted.
(a) All property including funds of an authority shall be exempt from levy and sale by virtue of an execution, and no execution or other judicial process shall issue against the same nor shall judgment against an authority be a charge or lien upon its property: Provided, however, That the provisions of this section shall not apply to or limit the right of obligees to foreclose or otherwise enforce any mortgage of an authority or the right of obligees to pursue any remedies for the enforcement of any pledge or lien given by an authority on its rents, fees, grants or revenues.
(b) The property of an authority is declared to be public property used for essential public and governmental purposes and such property and an authority shall be exempt from all taxes of the municipality, the county, the state or any political subdivision thereof: Provided, That with respect to any property in a redevelopment project, the tax exemption provided herein shall terminate when the authority sells, leases or otherwise disposes of such property to a redeveloper for redevelopment.
(a) For the purpose of aiding and cooperating in the planning, undertaking or carrying out of a redevelopment project located within the area in which it is authorized to act, any public body may, upon such terms, with or without consideration, as it may determine:
(1) Dedicate, sell, convey or lease any of its interest in any property, or grant easements, licenses or any other rights or privileges therein to an authority;
(2) Cause parks, playgrounds, recreational, community, educational, water, sewer or drainage facilities, or any other works which it is otherwise empowered to undertake, to be furnished in connection with a redevelopment project;
(3) Furnish, dedicate, close, vacate, pave, install, grade, regrade, plan or replan streets, roads, sidewalks, ways or other places, which it is otherwise empowered to undertake;
(4) Plan or replan, zone or rezone any part of the public body or make exceptions from building regulations and ordinances if such functions are of the character which the public body is otherwise empowered to perform;
(5) Cause administrative and other services to be furnished to the authority of the character which the public body is otherwise empowered to undertake or furnish for the same or other purposes;
(6) Incur the entire expense of any public improvements made by such public body in exercising the powers granted in this section;
(7) Do any and all things necessary or convenient to aid and cooperate in the planning or carrying out of a redevelopment plan;
(8) Lend, grant or contribute funds to an authority;
(9) Employ any funds belonging to or within the control of such public body, including funds derived from the sale or furnishing of property, service, or facilities to an authority, in the purchase of the bonds or other obligations of an authority and, as the holder of such bonds or other obligations, exercise the rights connected therewith; and
(10) Enter into agreements (which may extend over any period, notwithstanding any provision or rule of law to the contrary), with an authority respecting action to be taken by such public body pursuant to any of the powers granted by this article. If at any time title to, or possession of, any redevelopment project is held by any public body or governmental agency, other than the authority, authorized by law to engage in the undertaking, carrying out or administration of redevelopment projects, including any agency or instrumentality of the United States of America, the provisions of such agreements shall inure to the benefit of and may be enforced by such public body or governmental agency.
(b) Any sale, conveyance, lease or agreement provided for in this section may be made by a public body without appraisal, public notice, advertising or public bidding.
Any community located in whole or in part within the area of operation of an authority may grant funds to an authority for the purpose of aiding such authority in carrying out any of its powers and functions under this article. To obtain funds for this purpose, the community may levy taxes or may issue and sell its bonds. Any bonds to be issued by the community pursuant to the provisions of this section shall be issued in the manner and within the limitations except as herein otherwise provided, prescribed by the laws of this state for the issuance and authorization of such bonds for public purposes generally.
Any two or more authorities may join or cooperate with one another in the exercise of any or all of the powers conferred hereby for the purpose of planning, undertaking or financing a redevelopment project or projects located within the area or areas of operation of any one or more of said authorities. When a redevelopment project or projects are planned, undertaken or financed on a regional or unified metropolitan basis, the terms "governing body" and "community" as used in this article shall mean the governing bodies of the appropriate communities and the appropriate communities cooperating in the planning, undertaking or financing of such project or projects.
At least once a year, an authority shall file with the mayor (or with the governing body, in the case of a county) a report of its activities for the preceding year, and shall make recommendations with reference to such additional legislation or other action as it deems necessary in order to carry out the purposes of this article.
Any instrument executed by an authority and purporting to convey any right, title or interest in any property under this article shall be conclusive evidence of compliance with the provisions of this article insofar as title or other interest of any bona fide purchasers, lessees or transferees of such property is concerned.
Notwithstanding any other evidence of legislative intent, it is hereby declared to be the controlling legislative intent that if any provision of this article, or the application thereof to any person or circumstances, is held invalid, the remainder of the article and the application of such provision to persons or circumstances other than those as to which it is held invalid, shall not be affected thereby.
Insofar as the provisions of this article are inconsistent with the provisions of any other law, the provisions of this article shall be controlling.
The powers conferred by this article shall be in addition and supplemental to the powers conferred by any other law.
It is hereby found and declared that (a) there exist in communities of this state slum, blighted, and deteriorated areas which constitute a serious and growing menace, injurious to the public health, safety, morals and welfare of the residents of the state, and the findings and declarations heretofore made in this article with respect to slum and blighted areas are hereby affirmed and restated, (b) certain slum, blighted, or deteriorated areas, or portions thereof, may require acquisition and clearance, as provided in this article, since the prevailing condition of decay may make impracticable the reclamation of the area by conservation or rehabilitation, but other areas or portions thereof may, through the means provided in this article, as amended, be susceptible of conservation or rehabilitation in such a manner that the conditions and evils hereinbefore enumerated may be eliminated, remedied or prevented, and that salvable slum and blighted areas can be conserved and rehabilitated through appropriate public action and the cooperation and voluntary action of the owners and tenants of property in such areas, and (c) all powers conferred by this article, as amended, are for public uses and purposes for which public money may be expended and such other powers exercised, and the necessity in the public interest for the provisions of this article, as amended, is hereby declared as a matter of legislative determination. A community, to the greatest extent it determines to be feasible in carrying out the provisions of this article, as amended, shall afford maximum opportunity, consistent with the sound needs of the community as a whole, to the rehabilitation or redevelopment of areas by private enterprise.
In addition to its authority under any other section of this article, an authority is hereby authorized to plan and undertake urban renewal projects. As used in this article, an urban renewal project may include undertakings and activities for the elimination (and for the prevention of the development or spread) of slums or blighted, deteriorated, or deteriorating areas and may involve any work or undertaking for such purpose constituting a redevelopment project or any rehabilitation or conservation work, or any combination of such undertaking or work. Such undertaking and work may include (1) carrying out plans for a program of voluntary or compulsory repair and rehabilitation of buildings or other improvements; (2) acquisition of real property and demolition, removal, or rehabilitation of buildings and improvements thereon where necessary to eliminate unhealthful, insanitary or unsafe conditions, lessen density, reduce traffic hazards, eliminate obsolete or other uses detrimental to the public welfare, or to otherwise remove or prevent the spread of blight or deterioration, or to provide land for needed public facilities; (3) installation, construction, or reconstruction of streets, utilities, parks, playgrounds, and other improvements necessary for carrying out the objectives of the urban renewal project; and (4) the disposition, for uses in accordance with the objectives of the urban renewal project, of any property or part thereof acquired in the area of such project: Provided, That such disposition shall be in the manner prescribed in this article for the disposition of property in a redevelopment project area.
Notwithstanding any other provisions of this article, where the local governing body certifies that an area is in need of redevelopment or rehabilitation as a result of a flood, fire, hurricane, earthquake, storm or other catastrophe respecting which the Governor of the state has certified the need for disaster assistance under Public Law 875, Eighty-first Congress, or other federal law, the local governing body may approve an urban renewal plan and an urban renewal project with respect to such area without regard to any provisions of this article requiring public hearings or requiring that the urban renewal plan conform to a general plan for the community as a whole, or that the urban renewal area be a slum area, or a blighted, deteriorated, or deteriorating area, or that the urban renewal area be predominantly residential in character or be developed or redeveloped for residential uses.
Any urban renewal project undertaken pursuant to the preceding section shall be undertaken in accordance with an urban renewal plan for the area of the project. As used in this article, an "urban renewal plan" means a plan, as it exists from time to time, for an urban renewal project, which plan (1) shall conform to the general plan for the community as a whole, except as provided for disaster areas, and (2) shall be sufficiently complete to indicate such land acquisition, demolition and removal of structures, redevelopment, improvements, and rehabilitation as may be proposed to be carried out in the area of the urban renewal project, zoning and planning changes, if any, land uses, maximum densities, building requirements, and the plan's relationship to definite local objectives representing appropriate land uses, improved traffic, public transportation, public utilities, recreational and community facilities, and other public improvements. An urban renewal plan shall be prepared and approved pursuant to the same procedure as provided in this article with respect to a redevelopment plan. Where real property acquired by a community is to be transferred in accordance with the urban renewal plan, any contract for such transfer and the urban renewal plan (or such part or parts of such contract or plan as the authority may determine) may be recorded in the land records of the county in such manner as to afford actual or constructive notice thereof.
A community or a public agency created under this article, shall have all the powers necessary or convenient to undertake and carry out urban renewal plans and urban renewal projects, including the authority to acquire and dispose of property, to issue bonds and other obligations, to borrow and accept grants from the federal government or other source and to exercise the other powers which this article confers on an authority with respect to redevelopment projects. In connection with the planning and undertaking of any urban renewal plan or urban renewal project, the authority, the community, and all public and private officers, agencies, and bodies shall have all the rights, powers, privileges, and immunities which they have with respect to a redevelopment plan or redevelopment project, in the same manner as though all of the provisions of this article applicable to a redevelopment plan or redevelopment project were applicable to an urban renewal plan or urban renewal project: Provided, That for such purpose the word "redevelopment" as used in this article (except in this section and in the definition of "redevelopment project" in section three shall mean "urban renewal," and the word "slum" and the word "blighted" as used in this article (except in this section and in the definitions in section three) shall mean "blighted, deteriorated, or deteriorating," and the finding prescribed in subsection (b) of section four with respect to a blighted area shall not be a required: Provided further, That any disaster area referred to in section twenty-five (b) shall constitute a "blighted area." In addition to the surveys and plan which an authority is otherwise authorized to make, an authority is hereby specifically authorized to make (i) plans for carrying out a program of voluntary repair and rehabilitation of buildings and improvements, (ii) plans for the enforcement of laws, codes, and regulations relating to the use of land and the use and occupancy of buildings and improvements, and to the compulsory repair, rehabilitation, demolition, or removal of buildings and improvements, (iii) plans for the relocation of persons (including families, business concerns and others) displaced by an urban renewal project, (iv) preliminary plans outlining urban renewal activities for neighborhoods to embrace two or more urban renewal areas, and (v) preliminary surveys to determine if the undertaking and carrying out of an urban renewal project are feasible. The authority is authorized to make relocation payments to or with respect to persons (including families, business concerns and others) displaced by an urban renewal project, for moving expenses and losses of property for which reimbursement of compensation is not otherwise made, including the making of such payments financed by the federal government. The authority is also authorized to develop, test, and report methods and techniques, and carry out demonstrations and other activities, for the prevention and the elimination of slums and urban blight.
Any community or other public body is hereby authorized (without limiting any provisions in the preceding section to do any and all things necessary to aid and cooperate in the planning and undertaking of an urban renewal project in the area in which such community or public body is authorized to act, including the furnishing of such financial and other assistance as the community or public body is authorized by this article to furnish for or in connection with a redevelopment plan or redevelopment project. An authority is hereby authorized to delegate to a community or other public body any of the powers or functions of the authority with respect to the planning or undertaking of an urban renewal project in the area in which such community or public body is authorized to act, and such community or public body is hereby authorized to carry out or perform such powers or functions for the authority. Any public body is hereby authorized to enter into agreements (which may extend over any period, notwithstanding any provision or rule of law to the contrary) with any other public body or bodies respecting action to be taken pursuant to any of the powers granted by this article, including the furnishing of funds or other assistance in connection with an urban renewal plan or urban renewal project.
The governing body of the community, or such public officer or public body as it may designate, is hereby authorized to prepare a workable program (which may include an official plan of action, as it exists from time to time for effectively dealing with the problem of urban slums and blighted, deteriorated, or deteriorating areas within the community and for the establishment and preservation of a well-planned community with well-organized residential neighborhoods of decent homes and suitable living environment for adequate family life) for utilizing appropriate private and public resources to eliminate, and prevent the development or spread of, slums and urban blight and deterioration, to encourage needed urban rehabilitation, to provide for the redevelopment of blighted, deteriorated, or slum areas, or to undertake such of the aforesaid activities or other feasible activities as may be suitably employed to achieve the objectives of such a program.
The powers conferred by this article shall be in addition and supplemental to the powers conferred by any other law.