Code Section Group

Health and Safety Code - HSC


  ( Heading of Division 24 amended by Stats. 1975, Ch. 1137. )


  ( Part 1 repealed and added by Stats. 1963, Ch. 1812. )

CHAPTER 1. General [33000 - 33080.8]

  ( Chapter 1 added by Stats. 1963, Ch. 1812. )

ARTICLE 3. Declaration of State Policy—Blighted Areas [33030 - 33039]
  ( Article 3 added by Stats. 1963, Ch. 1812. )


(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 the state.

(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 Section 33031.

(c) A blighted area that contains the conditions described in subdivision (b) may also be characterized by the existence of any of the following:

(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.

(Amended by Stats. 2010, Ch. 665, Sec. 1. (AB 1641) Effective January 1, 2011.)


(a) This subdivision describes physical conditions that cause blight:

(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 sewer utilities.

(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 development standards.

(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 blight:

(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 33459).

(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 problems.

(7) A high crime rate that constitutes a serious threat to the public safety and welfare.

(Amended by Stats. 2007, Ch. 343, Sec. 16. Effective January 1, 2008.)


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 exist.

(Added by Stats. 1963, Ch. 1812.)


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 policies.

(Added by Stats. 1963, Ch. 1812.)


For these reasons it is declared to be the policy of the State:

(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.

(Added by Stats. 1963, Ch. 1812.)


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 such persons.

(c)  Racial discrimination against persons of certain groups in seeking housing.

(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.

(Added by Stats. 1963, Ch. 1812.)

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