Castle Farms Dairy Stores, Inc. v. Lexington Market Authority

Decision Date28 June 1949
Docket Number34.
Citation67 A.2d 490,193 Md. 472
PartiesCASTLE FARMS DAIRY STORES, Inc. v. LEXINGTON MARKET AUTHORITY et al. (and five other cases).
CourtMaryland Court of Appeals

Appeals from the Circuit Court No. 2 of Baltimore City; Joseph Sherbow, Judge.

Actions by Castle Farms Dairy Stores, Inc., Walter C. Kaufman, Sr. and others, Goetze Pickle Co., Inc., Irvin G. Courtney, and others, Edna Henning, and others, and Sarah Torosino, and others against the Lexington Market Authority and its individual members for declaratory judgment to determine the validity of the Lexington Market Authority Act. From the judgment, plaintiffs appeal, and defendant cross appeals.

Decree modified, and as modified, affirmed.

Paul F. Due, Baltimore (Harry S. Kruger and Due, Nickerson & Whiteford, Baltimore, on the brief), for Castle Farms Dairy Stores, Inc., et al.

R. Samuel Jett, Baltimore, for Goetze Pickle Co Inc.

Robert E. Coughlan, Jr., Baltimore (Paul B. Mules and I. Harold Hammerman, Baltimore, on the brief), for Irvin G Courtney, et al.

W. Frank Every, Baltimore (J. Purdon Wright, Baltimore, on the brief), for Edna Henning, et al.

R. Palmer Ingram, Baltimore, on the brief, for Walter C. Kaufman, Sr., et al.

J. Cookman Boyd, Jr., Baltimore, for Lexington Market Authority and Its Members.



These are cross-appeals from a decree (a) holding the Lexington Market Authority Act, Acts of 1945, ch. 863, constitutional (b) declaring all rights and interest of all persons, by claim, direct from the City or indirect through others, of ownership, right of occupancy, tenancy, possession, lease, sublease, permit, license or otherwise, in and to any market stalls in the part of the Market which was destroyed by fire on March 25, 1949, to have ceased and no longer to exist, and (c) reserving for further decision all rights of claimants in respect of stalls in the part of the Market not so destroyed by fire. The bill, for injunction and a declaratory decree, was filed or adopted by original and intervening plaintiffs, as taxpayers and 'owners' of stalls or claimants of other interests in stalls, in the burned and unburned parts of the Market, against the Authority and the City. Plaintiffs appeal from the whole decree, the Authority from the part above referred to as (c).

By the Act the Authority, 'a body corporate and politic', is created, and is to be 'deemed an instrumentality' of the City and a 'public corporation'. The members are to be appointed by the Mayor. When all revenue bonds issued pursuant to the Act shall have been paid and retired, the Authority shall close out its business and affairs and all its property shall revert to the City. The Authority has power to acquire from the City 'the whole or any part of the existing market' at an agreed purchase price, to erect, remodel, extend, improve, equip, operate and maintain the Market, to acquire by purchase or condemnation real property or rights or easements therein or franchises or licenses, and if the Authority shall deem it expedient to establish the Market on any lands, streets or public places title to which shall be in the City, the City is authorized to convey title to the Authority upon payment of the reasonable value of such lands, to be determined by the Authority and the City Council. The Authority has power to borrow money and issue revenue bonds payable solely from earnings of the Market. The City is authorized and empowered to convey to the Authority the existing market or any part thereof upon receipt of the purchase price, and to vacate any streets or other public places required to insure proper operation of the Market and may grant to the Authority the exclusive right to use such vacated streets or other public places for the purpose of the Market subject to such terms and conditions as the City and the Authority may lawfully agree upon. Revenue bonds issued under the Act shall not be deemed to constitute a debt of the City or a pledge of its faith and credit, but such bonds shall be payable solely from the funds, of the Authority from revenues of the Market. All such bonds shall contain a statement on their face that the City is not obligated to pay such bonds or the interest thereon. The issuance of such bonds shall not directly or indirectly or contingently obligate the City to levy or pledge any form of taxation whatever or to make any appropriation for their payment.

Section 7 of the Act provides: '(Rights of Present Stallholders.) In the operation of the Market the Authority shall preserve, to the extent required by law, all rights of any persons in or to any of the stalls now located in the existing market, and shall give first choice as to location in the rental of stalls in the Market to the present tenants of stalls in the existing market.'

The Authority may at one time or from time to time provide for issuance of its revenue bonds for the purpose of paying all or a part of the cost of the Market. It may secure its bonds by a trust indenture, which 'may pledge or assign all revenues to be received from the Market, but shall not convey or mortgage the Market or any part thereof.' The Authority may 'fix and revise from time to time rates or charges for the use of the facilities of the Market, including parking facilities.' 'Such rates or charges shall be so fixed and adjusted as to provide a fund sufficient with other revenues of the Market, if any, to pay (a) the cost of maintaining, repairing and operating the Market * * * and (b) the bonds and the interest thereon * * *. Such rates or charges shall not be subject to supervision or regulation by any other State or City commission, board, bureau or agency'. The Market and the bonds of the Authority and the interest thereon shall be and remain forever exempt from all state, municipal and local taxation.

It appears that Lexington Market was planned before the City of Baltimore was incorporated, but the first building was constructed early in the Nineteenth Century. On March 25th, 1949 a substantial part of the existing market was destroyed by fire; the structure in the bed of Lexington Street, between Eutaw and Paca Streets, was destroyed, the structure between Paca and Greene Streets remains. Before the fire the market yielded the City no net income, but was operated at a loss.

On March 30th, 1949 the Authority adopted a resolution (or skeleton of a resolution) which recites that the Authority has heretofore carefully considered the studies and findings of a Committee appointed by the Mayor to study the legal, financial, architectural, engineering and general community problems involved in the improvement of the Lexington Market Area and has employed its own consulting engineers and architects, financial experts, surveyors and attorneys, and caused investigations, surveys and estimates to be made, and a plan prepared for the alleviation of traffic conditions in and around the area, and a more economical and productive use of such area, by the construction of a modern sanitary and accessible metropolitan market, including parking garages and utilizing the existing market and certain additional areas deemed necessary and advisable in connection with the plan; the Board of Estimates of the City has heretofore [before the fire] approved [the City says, not finally, but tentatively, subject to such ordinances of the Council as may be necessary] payment of $100,000 by the Authority to the City, as the purchase price of the existing market; according to the plan and estimates prepared by the Authority's consulting engineers and architects in relation to the establishment and construction of a 'Market', including the 'existing market', and the construction of necessary buildings, structures, facilities and properties for use in connection with the buying, storing, refrigerating, processing and sale of food products, and including parking and other ancillary facilities, the sum of $_____ will be sufficient to pay the cost of such market; and 'by reason of the recent disastrous fire destroying the existing market, it is imperative that the Authority proceed immediately with the establishment and construction of such Market in accordance with said plan and estimates.' By the resolution the Authority determined that: 1. The immediate establishment and construction of the Market in accordance with the Authority's plan is desirable and in the public interest and necessary to protect the public health and safety of the citizens of Baltimore, and the establishment and construction thereof will alleviate traffic congestion in and around the Market area. 2. The construction of such Market is hereby authorized, it shall be constructed and paid for under the supervision and approval of the Authority's consulting engineers, and the cost shall be financed as hereinafter provided. 3. To provide funds for paying the cost of the Market, including the purchase price of the existing market, the issuance of revenue bonds of the Authority in such aggregate principal amount and bearing such rate or rates of interest as may be hereafter determined by it, is hereby authorized. The bonds shall be secured by a trust indenture, which 'shall pledge and assign the revenues to be received from the Market but shall not convey or mortgage the Market or any part thereof.' 4. The cost of maintaining, repairing and operating the Market and the payment of the principal of and interest on the revenue bonds authorized shall be paid out of the revenues from the use of the facilities of the Market. 5. The bonds shall be in substantially the form set out in the resolution. 6. The Authority shall hereafter fix the rates to be charged for the...

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  • Varsity Inv. Grp., LLC v. Prince George's Cnty.
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • September 8, 2020
    ...powers granted." But the General Assembly may still "pass local legislation not within the express powers." Castle Farms Dairy Stores v. Lexington Mkt. Auth., 193 Md. 472, 485 (1949). In addition, the General Assembly may "enlarge, diminish or change the express powers," id., and may enact ......

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