January 8, 2013

Seeking justice at the Supreme Court

By Seeking justice at the Supreme Court

Seeking to preserve his father’s legacy, and the rights of property owners like him, Coy Koontz Jr. goes to the United States Supreme Court with Pacific Legal Foundation’s help, to challenge the St. Johns River Water Management District. The U.S. Supreme Court issued a favorable decision on Jun. 25, 2013, holding that the government’s demand for property from a land use permit must satisfy the Nolan and Dolan requirements even when it denies the permit.

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St. Johns River Water Management District v. Koontz

Coy A. Koontz sought to develop commercial land, most of which lies within a riparian habitat protection zone in Orange County, Florida. He applied for a dredge and fill permit with the St. Johns Water Management District, which  agreed to grant the permit only on the condition that he place a conservation easement over his land, and perform mitigation off-site by replacing culverts and plugging certain drainage canals on distant District-owned properties. When Koontz refused to perform the off-site mitigation, St. Johns denied the permit. PLF successfully represented Koontz before the U.S. Supreme Court, which held that a land-use agency cannot condition a permit on the payment of a mitigation fee to be used to pay for facilities that have no connection to the impacts of the permitted development.

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