HIGHEST COURT OF MARYLAND DECIDES ORDINANCE REQUIRING REDUCTION OF ELEVATION OF LOTS AT CORNERS WAS A TAKING OF PROPERTY WITHOUT PAYMENT OF JUST COMPENSATION

AS A SAFETY MEASURE, THE CITY OF SALISBURY, MARYLAND, PASSED AN ORDINANCE WHICH LIMITED THE HEIGHT OF FIXED OBJECTS WITHIN A TRIANGLE OF A CORNER LOT, TWO SIDES OF WHICH WERE MEASURED FROM THE POINT OF INTERSECTION FOR A DISTANCE OF 25 FEET, IN ALL DISTRICTS WHERE FRONT YARDS WERE REQUIRED ON CORNER LOTS. THE HEIGHT OF THE OBJECTS AND ALSO THE GROUND ELEVATION COULD NOT EXCEED THREE FEET ABOVE THE ESTABLISHED CURB ELEVATION. THREE LANDOWNERS APPEALED AN ORDER TO REDUCE CERTAIN FIXTURES IN THEIR YARDS THE COURT HELD THAT THE PROVISION REQUIRING A REDUCTION IN GROUND ELEVATION AMOUNTED TO THE TAKING OF PROPERTY WITHOUT PAYMENT OF COMPENSATION. THE OWNER'S LAND WOULD BE CONFISCATED SINCE THERE WOULD BE AN INTERFERENCE IN THE ENJOYMENT OF HIS LAND BY THE PUBLIC USE OF A 'SIGHT EASEMENT.' THE COURT FURTHER HELD THAT THE PROVISION RELATING TO FIXED OBJECTS MIGHT BE VALID UNDER THE POLICE POWER IF THE USEFULNESS OF THE OBJECT WERE NOT DESTROYED OR IF THERE WERE NOT A SUBSTANTIAL LOSS TO THE PROPERTY OWNER. (STEVENS V. CITY OF SALISBURY, 214 A.2D 775, DEC 1965)

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • No 32, P 2
  • Publication Date: 1966-7

Media Info

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00238593
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Feb 10 1994 12:00AM