Takings: Takings Clause Applies To Demands For Money--Not Just Land

Tuesday, July 09, 2013 12:00 am
Land Use Law Report, Volume 41, Number 7

The U.S. Supreme Court held that the Takings Clause applies to monetary exactions when the government demands the exaction in exchange for a land use permit.

Facts: In 1994, Coy Koontz, Sr. first tried to develop a 3.7-acre piece of land in Florida. Florida law required him to get a Management and Storage of Surface Water permit and a Wetlands Resource Management permit before he could develop the property. These permitting requirements were designed to protect Florida’s dwindling wetlands, and they allow the government to require applicants to offset the environmental damage of their proposed developments by "creating, enhancing, or preserving wetlands elsewhere."

Koontz applied to the St. Johns River Water Management District (District) for the permits. He proposed deeding to the District a conservation easement on 11 acres of wetlands that abutted the 3.7-acre piece that he wanted to develop. The District rejected this proposal as inadequate and told Koontz that it would approve his permit application only if he agreed to one of two proposals: (1) a one-acre development and a 14.7-acre conservation easement, or (2) the sought-after 3.7-acre development and paying for the enhancement of approx[..]


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