River Raisin Battlefield Eminent Domain Process Raises The Taking Question

In some of its acquisitions, the Federal government will take a position that it will not buy property through eminent domain. This creates a “waiting” game. Examples are the expansion of the military base in Battle Creek and the River Raisin Battlefield Park upgrade to one which owners will be left fallow while others are purchased because people desire to sell. This raises an issue of whether no expropriation process creates a “blight by project” result. This is somewhat akin to the old urban renewal inverse condemnations, where the ‘slow take’ destroys the community. The activity is illustrated in Cleveland v Carcione and Detroit v Cassese 376 Mich. 311, 136 N.W.2d 896 (1965). One can expect the issue of federal “delayed” acquisitions and their effect on the remaining properties to never be challenged only because the activity is so dispersed throughout the country.