Dolan v. Tigard Case Brief

Summary of Dolan[ Pl/ant] v. Tigard, S. Ct. 1994

Mandated Access to Property- Rule “rough proportionality”

Relevant Facts: The City Planning Commission conditioned approval of Dolan’s application to expand her store and pave her parking lot upon her compliance with dedication of land (1) for a public greenway to minimize flooding (2) for a pedestrian/bicycle pathway intended to relieve traffic congestion in the city’s Central Business District.

Legal Issue(s): Whether the city has violated the 14th Amendment by refusing to allow Dolan’s planned construction to proceed unless she acquiesce her property and rights to the city?

Court’s Holding: Yes

Procedure: Landowner petitioned for judicial review of decision of Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals, affirming conditions placed by city on development of commercial property. city on development of commercial property. The Court of Appeals affirmed, and landowner again appealed. The Oregon Supreme Court affirmed. Reversed and remanded

Law or Rule(s): “[N]or shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.” Under the well-settled doctrine of “unconstitutional conditions,” the government may not require a person to give up a constitutional right–here the right to receive just compensation when property is taken for a public use–in exchange for a discretionary benefit conferred by the government where the benefit sought has little or no relationship to the property.

Court Rationale: If we find that a nexus exists, we must then decide the required degree of connection between the exactions and the projected impact of the proposed development. the prevention of flooding and the reduction of traffic congestion are legitimate public purposes. a nexus exists between preventing flooding and expanding the surface on the property and increasing the amount of storm water runoff. The same may be said for the city’s attempt to reduce traffic congestion by providing for alternative means of transportation. the city demanded more The city has never said why a public greenway, as opposed to a private one, was required in the interest of flood control. The difference to petitioner, of course, is the loss of her ability to exclude others. Her right to exclude would not be regulated, it would be eviscerated. The findings upon which the city relies do not show the required reasonable relationship between the floodplain easement and the petitioner’s proposed new building.

Plaintiff’s Argument: The land dedication requirements were not related to the proposed development and therefore constituted an uncompensated taking of her property under the Fifth Amendment.

Defendant’s Argument: Land use regulation does not effect a taking if it substantially advances legitimate state interest and does not deny owner economically viable use of his or her land.

Test –whether “essential nexus” existed between legitimate state interest and permit condition exacted by city;

The second part of our analysis requires us to determine whether the degree of the exactions demanded by the city’s permit conditions bears the required relationship to the projected impact of petitioner’s proposed development.

[Chicago] The principal purposes of the Takings Clause is “to bar Government from forcing some people alone to bear public burdens which, in all fairness and justice, should be borne by the public as a whole.”

[Agins] A land use regulation does not effect a taking if it “substantially advances legitimate state interests” and does not “deny an owner economically viable use of his land.

[Nollan quoting Penn Central] A use restriction may constitute a “taking” if not reasonably necessary to the effectuation of a substantial government purpose’



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