|M.Sc Student||Orni Nira|
|Subject||Land Expropriation for Urban Development: a Cross National|
|Department||Department of Architecture and Town Planning||Supervisor||Professor Emeritus Rachelle Alterman|
This paper deals with the most common tool of supplying land for public purposes - expropriation also known as compulsory purchase, eminent domain, resumption and condemnation. The ever growing needs of the world’s population on the one hand and the limited resources of land on the other increase the necessity to acquire land compulsorily, thus infringing on the fundamental rights of the private land owner. This paper compares laws and arrangements of expropriation in three countries, England, United States and Israel. The conclusions drawn from the comparison are, in general, that the English law provides higher protection for the landowners' rights, while the Israeli law leans towards the expropriating authority. Regarding expropriation purposes, all three countries construed the term “Public Use” quite liberally, taking land for new towns, urban renewal, and industrial plants, some of which subsequently developed privately.
There is a difference in the position of the landowner in the expropriation proceedings of the three countries. In England, unlike Israel, the landowner gets sufficient information about the expropriation, and an opportunity to be heard by a neutral inspector of court.
The most important difference is the reduction of 25% - 40% off the full value of land for compensation purposes, while in England and in the United States the land owner is entitled to the full value of the land. Following the comparison, an opinion survey was conducted, by means of a mail questionnaire, among knowledgeable professionals in Israel, who deal with either the expropriating authorities’ side or the landowners’ side. The purpose of the questionnaire was to learn about the range of opinions about the existing law and practices in Israel and about desirable directions for reform.
The conclusion arising from the comparisons as well as from the survey is that the Israeli law, which remained unchanged for a long period, needs to be revised.