The Supreme Court expanded protections for property owners, siding with a Florida landowner who said that in return for a development permit, officials were demanding he pay for work on unrelated government land.
The US Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled in favor of a Florida landowner who complained that his attempt to develop a vacant parcel of his land was met with a “shakedown” by regulatory officials who sought to force him to pay for expensive improvements on unrelated government property.
Lawyers for the property owner, who said the officials refused to issue a development permit unless he agreed to pay for the improvements, argued that such extortionate demands by public officials amounted to an unconstitutional taking of private property for public use.
Voting 5 to 4, the high court agreed.
Writing for the majority, Justice Samuel Alito said the demands of the Florida regulatory officials were excessive because they required the landowner to pay for a so-called “mitigation” project that had no connection to any adverse impact on the public allegedly resulting from the proposed development of his land.
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