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Arbitrary prohibitions on land use flout the Fifth Amendment

Common Sense Alliance v. Growth Management Hearings Board


Contact: Anthony L. Francois

Status: An adverse decision was issued by the Court on August 10, 2015. Motion for reconsideration was denied on September 3, 2015; a petition for review was filed on September 18, 2015. PLF filed a cross-petition for review on October 2, 2015. The petition for review was denied February 9, 2016. Petition for certiorari will be filed on or before May 10, 2016.

Summary:
San Juan County, Washington, requires shoreline property owners who want permission to build to dedicate large parts of their land as water quality buffers to filter pollutants that come from other parcels in the watershed.  But the county uses an excessive one-size-fits-all formula that takes too much land, with no parcel-specific determination of how much area is needed to filter water that starts on the shoreline parcel, as opposed to serving the public purpose of filtering all of the neighbors’ water run-off.

PLF is representing the grassroots property rights organization Common Sense Alliance in asking the Supreme Court of the United States to require that San Juan County prove that its buffer ordinance takes no more property than is necessary to mitigate the building impacts of the property owners.

 

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