Shreve v. Baltimore: A Municipal Misstep Leads to a City Forever Beautiful

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Tallerico, Laura
eminent domain; fee simple; public utilities; public goods; Environmental Law; Land Use Law; Law; Legal History
article description
This paper explores municipal decision making in condemnation proceedings and whether or not the public use requirement protects individual property owners from poor municipal decision-making. When condemners are allowed to take in fee simple absolute, their decisions have lasting effects on property. The decisions of the Baltimore City government in its creation of a water system illustrate why some may be queasy about this. However, this may actually be desirable because it allows for municipalities, in particular, to both achieve the public purpose necessary at the time of condemnation and to improve in the future rather than go through the hassle of returning land a century later.