Catholic University Law Review


Brigid Sawyer


Real property is a finite resource. As a result, two theories of land use most frequently in tension are economic development and individual land ownership. In tracing key places in American history where these two theories conflict, it is seen that economic development is often prioritized over individual land ownership. This Comment analyzes the connections between the Founding Era philosophy on property law, Native American land takings, and eminent domain takings and proposes a new definition of the highest and best use valuation standard, one that accounts for both economic development and individual land ownership. This new standard allows both theories to have balanced consideration in eminent domain valuation.

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