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Eminent Domain, Quick-Take, Baltimore Development Corporation, Due Process, Public Use, Kelo, Economic Development Taking


In the years following the Supreme Court’s controversial decision in Kelo v. New London, state judges and legislators across the country responded with a tidal wave of reform to state eminent domain law. While legislative reform efforts largely floundered in the Maryland General Assembly, the Maryland Court of Appeals, in the case of Baltimore v. Valsamaki, curbed the City of Baltimore’s use of quick-take condemnation procedures, imposed additional planning requirements on condemning authorities, and emphasizing the fact that property rights are fundamental constitutional rights. This article will begin with an examination of quick-take procedures and the reasons why its extensive use by Baltimore caused great hardships for property owners wishing to fight the city’s condemnation efforts. This article will then discuss the history of the Charles North Revitalization Area, and the city’s efforts to condemn George Valsamaki’s bar, The Magnet, as part of an urban renewal plan. The article will then discuss the impact that the Court of Appeals’ decision has had on eminent domain within Maryland, and will conclude with an overview of the issues Valsamaki left unresolved.


Law | Legal History | Property Law and Real Estate