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[GreenYes] Supreme Court Ruling
Non-Compensable, But Not Unconstitutional


The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that a temporary ban on land
development does not amount to an unconstitutional taking of private
property that requires financial compensation by the government. The
court by a 6-3 vote ruled in favor of a planning agency in Nevada that
ordered a 32-month moratorium while it studied the impact of development

on Lake Tahoe and devised a strategy for environmentally sound growth.

Read The Opinion (Tahoe-Sierra Preservation Council, Inc. v.
Tahoe Regional Planning Agency)


While some may characterize this as a victory for the environment or an
anti-property rights decision,
a close reading and understanding of jurisprudence is that this opinion
describes the process of
lawyers working as mediators to mediate a dispute.  What the holding
stands for is that when a local
government decides to engage a moratorium on land development while they
study the problem and
attempt to devise a working solution (in this case to prevent further
degradation to Lake Tahoe), the
moratorium which is temporary does NOT amount to a temporary taking.

Justice Stevens in writing the majority opinion expresses environmental
notions in the first
several pages of the opinion - a rarity for the Supreme Court to give
deference to and mention
environmental science principles such as impervious surface runoff and
nutrient loading on water bodies.

Check it out.

Ben Marks

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