Development Authority

In addition to URAs and LRAs, other authorities such as Development Authorities are enabled under West Virginia law to acquire, redevelop, and dispose of real property. A development authority is a public agency created by a city council or county commission. 1 The purpose of a development authority is “to advance business and industrial development and maintain the economic stability of the municipality or county.” 2

Development authorities hold very broad powers to purchase property and, in limited circumstances, exercise eminent domain. However, the purpose of development authority property should be for “use in industrial, economic and recreational development.” 3 Logically, development authorities should limit their actions to nonresidential properties. Development authorities may address neglected properties, although neglected properties are not the main focus. For communities dealing primarily with commercial and industrial properties, a development authority may be worth considering.

  1. W. Va. Code Ann. § 7-12-2 (West 2015).
  2. Id. § 7-12-2.
  3. Id. § 7-12-11.