Supreme Court of Utah
2013 UT 25, 301 P.3d 994
The “more necessary public use” rule, found in § 78B-6-504(1)(d) of the Utah Code, states that property which has already been appropriated to a public use may be appropriated for another public use only if “the use to which it is to be applied is a more necessary public use.” The statute thus requires prioritization of conflicting uses, not reconciliation.
The policy underlying the “more necessary public use” rule is to avoid “serial” takings, where the same property is acquired, even from other public agencies.
An exception to the “more necessary public use” rule allows a new public use on property not being used for the first public use, if the new use can be undertaken without interfering with the first. There is no need to prioritize the two uses if both can be carried out simultaneously.