High court considers challenge to eminent domain strategy: WMDT-TV47, Salisbury MD, 1/9/07

[Maryland's] highest court is weighing the arguments in a dispute over a property seizure technique being used for urban renewal efforts in Baltimore.

The Court of Appeals heard arguments yesterday about the city's so-called "quick take" strategy. Critics say it amounts to taking real estate before officials have determined how it will be used.

The case was first brought by the owner of a North Charles Street bar who claims the city didn't have sufficient grounds for the seizure of the bar and other properties under eminent domain.

Although a recent Supreme Court case has upheld the seizures of private property for economic development, a Circuit Court judge sided last year with the bar owner - saying that the city must show "a carefully considered development plan" before the seizure.

WMDT-TV47, Salisbury MD: http://www.wmdt.com