The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday debated whether the takings clause of the U.S. Constitution could extend to instances in which government entities deny development permits to private property owners after negotiations over permit conditions fail.
Florida landowner Coy A. Koontz Jr., suing on behalf of his deceased father, argued that the St. Johns River Water Management District effected a regulatory taking of his father's property when it denied him development permits after the parties could not reach an agreement on wetlands mitigation.
Scott Johnson, chair of the Eminent Domain and Condemnation Group, noted that the 19-year-old Koontz case shows "how expensive and time consuming real estate development can be in Florida."
"The goal of the court should be to reach a balance between private property rights and the protection of the public impacted by private development," Johnson said.
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