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Thread: Eminent domain exercised outside of ETJ

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    Cyburbian CDT's avatar
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    Eminent domain exercised outside of ETJ

    How many of your jurisdictions allow the use of eminent domain outside of the ETJ for parks? Thanks!

  2. #2
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
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    I have never heard of having such powers outside of your jurisdiction. It has to be based on your state statutes, and must involve attorneys.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian CDT's avatar
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    Interestingly, our state statutes do not specifically address this in cities of first or second class. There is a mention of it in the cities of the metropolitan class, however. It has not been tested in my state.

    I suspect that other states do not allow this type of power, but wanted to confirm.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Wisconsin allows cities and villages to use of eminent domain for public streets and utilities, even outside their boundaries. I do not believe this is true for parks, though.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  5. #5
    Cyburbian
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    Here in Maryland, Baltimore City's three big reservoirs (Loch Raven, Liberty, and Prettyboy), and the thousands of acres of forested watershed land around them, lie outside the City's boundaries, as does Robert E. Lee Park, which surrounds an out-of-service (I think) reservoir. (The reservoir is still there, just not used for drinking water, although the City may be keeping it as an extreme-emergency reserve.) These properties were acquired long ago by purchase, however, not eminent domain; I don't think Maryland allows out-of-jurisdiction ED at all, especially not across county lines (Balt. City is an independent city, seperate from Balt. County and equivalent to a county.)

    Around here, use of ED outside a local gov's jurisdiction would raise a hell of a ruckus, not only from local residents and businesses but from the other local gov whose land is being poached. Personally, I don't think out-of-jurisdiction ED should be allowed because of the potential for major conflicts between the interests of the gov doing the seizing and the landowners/community whose land is being seized. If the former is wealthy/growing/successful and the latter are poor/struggling/rural or inner-city, that would raise a serious justice issue.

    Incidentally, Baltimore got it's reservoirs without much trouble because it paid for the land, and because those lakes supply most of the metro area's water (not just the city), plus nice recreational, hunting, and wildlife habitat areas for the neighboring communities. Will these parks your town is proposing benefit the communities whose land will be taken? Can a deal be reached between the two on a discounted purchase price or installment plan in exchange for benefitting the latter communities? That might be a better way to go than starting a potentially ugly conflict, or a quick seizure that leaves bad blood in its wake.

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