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Supreme Court Decision Limits Ability of Government Agencies to Impose 'Extortionate' Permit Conditions on Landowners



by Kerri L. Barsh
Greenberg Traurig, LLP - Miami Office

Jerry Stouck
Greenberg Traurig, LLP - Washington Office

July 1, 2013

Previously published on June 27, 2013

On June 25th, the U.S. Supreme Court issued an important Takings Clause decision with far-reaching implications for real estate developers and others who rely on federal or state permits. In Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management District, the Court extended the doctrine of “unconstitutional conditions” established in the Court’s Nollan and Dolan cases. Under that doctrine, when a permitting authority conditions the issuance of a development or other permit on dedication of some property to a public use (for example, by requiring a playground, a bike path, or an easement for beach access), the condition must both have a “logical nexus” to the permit (per Nollan) and be “roughly proportional” to the scope of the development or other activity authorized by the permit (per Dolan). A land use authority cannot, for example, condition a permit to build a single family home on the construction of a football stadium across town.


 

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