Property Rights

Beach Group Investments, LLC v. Florida Deptartment of Environmental Protection

Florida court demands futile hoop-jumping before seeking redress for a taking

Beach Group Investments bought beachfront land and obtained local permits to build a condominium complex. Subsequently, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection changed its setback requirements and, as a result, rejected Beach Group’s permit application. A trial court held that the inability to build the condo project caused a 96% loss in value and that any attempt to obtain a variance would have been futile. As such, Beach Group suffered a regulatory taking for which it was owed just compensation. An appellate court reversed, however, theorizing that it was “reasonably possible” that Beach Group could obtain a variance and must therefore pursue one before its taking claim would be ripe for adjudication.

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