An area may be designated as blighted or substandard if it has enough deficiencies that private investment is not occurring. A summary of the definitions of blighted and substandard are included below, but for complete details, please refer to Nebraska's Community Development Law  and review the Guidelines for Community Development Law.

In summary, an area can be designated “substandard” if it:

  • has a predominance of buildings that are dilapidated, deteriorated, obsolete, or have inadequate ventilation, light, air, sanitation or open spaces
  • has population overcrowding
  • has conditions that endanger life or property, by fire and other causes
  • has a combination of factors that are conducive to ill health, transmission of disease, infant mortality, juvenile delinquency, and crime
  • is detrimental to public health, safety, morals, or welfare 

In summary, an area can be designated “blighted” if it:

  • includes a substantial number of deteriorated or deteriorating structures
  • has a defective or inadequate street layout
  • has a faulty lot layout in relation to size, adequacy, accessibility, or usefulness
  • has unsanitary or unsafe conditions
  • is experiencing deterioration of site or other improvements
  • has diversity of ownership
  • has tax or special assessment delinquency exceeding the fair value of the land
  • has defective or unusual conditions of title
  • has improper subdivision or obsolete platting
  • has conditions which endanger life or property by fire or other causes
  • has factors that substantially impair or arrest the sound growth of the community, delay the provision of housing accommodations, or constitute an economic or social liability
  • is detrimental to public health, safety, morals, or welfare in its present condition and use, and has one or more of the following conditions:
    • an unemployment rate of at least 120% of the state or national average
    • an average age of the residential or commercial units that is at least 40 years
    • more than half of plotted and subdivided property has been within the city for 40 years and has remained unimproved during that time
    • the per capita income is lower than the average per capita income of the city or stable or decreasing population, based on the last two decennial censuses 

A finding of blighted/substandard can be made if these factors are present to a great enough extent that public intervention appears to be appropriate or necessary to assist with any development activities. In addition, these factors should be reasonably distributed throughout the area so basically good areas are not arbitrarily found to be blighted/substandard simply because of proximity to areas which are blighted/substandard.

Fairbury’s Blight and Substandard Map

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