53 Pages Posted: 30 Jul 2018 Last revised: 28 Feb 2019
Date Written: July 30, 2018
Vacant, abandoned, and dilapidated buildings plague rural communities, yet little legal scholarship examines the law and policy questions surrounding blighted properties in non-urban environments. This Article proposes a definition and solutions for rural blight that take rural communities’ common characteristics into account, with the aim of either strengthening rural local governments to better handle the weighty task of blight remediation, or relieving them of the task by shifting some of the burden toward the state and regional level. Rural America, often portrayed as “forgotten” or “dying,” has an uncertain road before it. The question of how society as a whole approaches the decaying rural built environment—which will in turn affect rural safety, health, economics, aesthetics, and overall quality of life—will play an important role in shaping that fate.
Keywords: land use, local government, community development, rural development, property, housing, blight, environmental justice
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