Article 3. Declaration Of State Policy—blighted Areas of California Health And Safety Code >> Division 24. >> Part 1. >> Chapter 1. >> Article 3.
(a) It is found and declared that there exist in many
communities blighted areas that constitute physical and economic
liabilities, requiring redevelopment in the interest of the health,
safety, and general welfare of the people of these communities and of
(b) A blighted area is one that contains both of the following:
(1) An area that is predominantly urbanized, as that term is
defined in Section 33320.1, and is an area in which the combination
of conditions set forth in Section 33031 is so prevalent and so
substantial that it causes a reduction of, or lack of, proper
utilization of the area to such an extent that it constitutes a
serious physical and economic burden on the community that cannot
reasonably be expected to be reversed or alleviated by private
enterprise or governmental action, or both, without redevelopment.
(2) An area that is characterized by one or more conditions set
forth in any paragraph of subdivision (a) of Section 33031 and one or
more conditions set forth in any paragraph of subdivision (b) of
(c) A blighted area that contains the conditions described in
subdivision (b) may also be characterized by the existence of any of
(1) Inadequate public improvements.
(2) Inadequate water or sewer utilities.
(3) Housing constructed as a government-owned project that was
constructed before January 1, 1960.
(a) This subdivision describes physical conditions that
(1) Buildings in which it is unsafe or unhealthy for persons to
live or work. These conditions may be caused by serious building code
violations, serious dilapidation and deterioration caused by
long-term neglect, construction that is vulnerable to serious damage
from seismic or geologic hazards, and faulty or inadequate water or
(2) Conditions that prevent or substantially hinder the viable use
or capacity of buildings or lots. These conditions may be caused by
buildings of substandard, defective, or obsolete design or
construction given the present general plan, zoning, or other
(3) Adjacent or nearby incompatible land uses that prevent the
development of those parcels or other portions of the project area.
(4) The existence of subdivided lots that are in multiple
ownership and whose physical development has been impaired by their
irregular shapes and inadequate sizes, given present general plan and
zoning standards and present market conditions.
(b) This subdivision describes economic conditions that cause
(1) Depreciated or stagnant property values.
(2) Impaired property values, due in significant part, to
hazardous wastes on property where the agency may be eligible to use
its authority as specified in Article 12.5 (commencing with Section
(3) Abnormally high business vacancies, abnormally low lease
rates, or an abnormally high number of abandoned buildings.
(4) A serious lack of necessary commercial facilities that are
normally found in neighborhoods, including grocery stores, drug
stores, and banks and other lending institutions.
(5) Serious residential overcrowding that has resulted in
significant public health or safety problems. As used in this
paragraph, "overcrowding" means exceeding the standard referenced in
Article 5 (commencing with Section 32) of Chapter 1 of Title 25 of
the California Code of Regulations.
(6) An excess of bars, liquor stores, or adult-oriented businesses
that has resulted in significant public health, safety, or welfare
(7) A high crime rate that constitutes a serious threat to the
public safety and welfare.
It is further found and declared that:
(a) The existence of blighted areas characterized by any or all of
such conditions constitutes a serious and growing menace which is
condemned as injurious and inimical to the public health, safety, and
welfare of the people of the communities in which they exist and of
the people of the State.
(b) Such blighted areas present difficulties and handicaps which
are beyond remedy and control solely by regulatory processes in the
exercise of police power.
(c) They contribute substantially and increasingly to the problems
of, and necessitate excessive and disproportionate expenditures for,
crime prevention, correction, prosecution, and punishment, the
treatment of juvenile delinquency, the preservation of the public
health and safety, and the maintaining of adequate police, fire, and
accident protection and other public services and facilities.
(d) This menace is becoming increasingly direct and substantial in
its significance and effect.
(e) The benefits which will result from the remedying of such
conditions and the redevelopment of blighted areas will accrue to all
the inhabitants and property owners of the communities in which they
It is further found and declared that:
(a) Such conditions of blight tend to further obsolescence,
deterioration, and disuse because of the lack of incentive to the
individual landowner and his inability to improve, modernize, or
rehabilitate his property while the condition of the neighboring
properties remains unchanged.
(b) As a consequence the process of deterioration of a blighted
area frequently cannot be halted or corrected except by redeveloping
the entire area, or substantial portions of it.
(c) Such conditions of blight are chiefly found in areas
subdivided into small parcels, held in divided and widely scattered
ownerships, frequently under defective titles, and in many such
instances the private assembly of the land in blighted areas for
redevelopment is so difficult and costly that it is uneconomic and as
a practical matter impossible for owners to undertake because of
lack of the legal power and excessive costs.
(d) The remedying of such conditions may require the public
acquisition at fair prices of adequate areas, the clearance of the
areas through demolition of existing obsolete, inadequate, unsafe,
and insanitary buildings, and the redevelopment of the areas
suffering from such conditions under proper supervision, with
appropriate planning, and continuing land use and construction
For these reasons it is declared to be the policy of the
(a) To protect and promote the sound development and redevelopment
of blighted areas and the general welfare of the inhabitants of the
communities in which they exist by remedying such injurious
conditions through the employment of all appropriate means.
(b) That whenever the redevelopment of blighted areas cannot be
accomplished by private enterprise alone, without public
participation and assistance in the acquisition of land, in planning
and in the financing of land assembly, in the work of clearance, and
in the making of improvements necessary therefor, it is in the public
interest to employ the power of eminent domain, to advance or expend
public funds for these purposes, and to provide a means by which
blighted areas may be redeveloped or rehabilitated.
(c) That the redevelopment of blighted areas and the provisions
for appropriate continuing land use and construction policies in them
constitute public uses and purposes for which public money may be
advanced or expended and private property acquired, and are
governmental functions of state concern in the interest of health,
safety, and welfare of the people of the State and of the communities
in which the areas exist.
(d) That the necessity in the public interest for the provisions
of this part is declared to be a matter of legislative determination.
The Legislature of the State of California recognizes that
among the principal causes of slum and blighted residential areas are
the following factors:
(a) Inadequate enforcement of health, building, and safety laws.
(b) The fact that the limited financial resources of many human
beings who inhabit them make only this type of housing available to
(c) Racial discrimination against persons of certain groups in
(d) The neglect of absentee landlords.
It is, therefore, declared to be the public policy of this State
that, in order to cope with the problems of the rehabilitation of
slum or blighted areas, these factors shall be taken into
consideration in any rehabilitation or redevelopment program. It is
further declared to be the public policy of this State that such
rehabilitation or redevelopment programs shall not be undertaken and
operated in such a manner as to exchange new slums for old slums or
as to congest individuals from one slum to another slum.