1 year ago

PLF's cert petition on water quality buffers draws support

By Anthony L. Francois Senior Attorney

A month ago PLF asked the Supreme Court to hear Common Sense Alliance v. San Juan County, a case against an ordinance that unconstitutionally takes portions of shoreline properties as community storm water filters. The issue in the case is whether Supreme Court decisions that limit government power to demand property in return for a permit approval apply to property exactions imposed by a legislative body, or just when a planning committee imposes an ad hoc exaction.

Today, we are pleased that several organizations have filed friend of the court briefs also encouraging the Supreme Court to take the case. The South Eastern Legal Foundation, joined by National Federal of Independent Business Small Business Legal Center, filed this brief emphasizing the importance of resolving a growing dispute among lower courts over whether Nollan v. California Coastal Commission, Dolan v. City of Tigard, and Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management District, apply to legislative exactions.

And our friends at the Cato Institute and Reason Foundation, joined by the National Association of Home Builders, filed a brief emphasizing the fact that the unconstitutional conditions doctrine, on which Nollan, Dolan, and Koontz are based, is commonly applied to legislative exactions in the Fifth Amendment context, and had its origin in cases applying the doctrine to legislative limits on First Amendment rights.

The Supreme Court will consider whether to hear the case during its June 23 conference.

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