A sharply divided Court has declared that the denial of a permit for the development of a Florida wetland constituted an unconstitutional taking without just compensation. Justice Alito writing for the majority found that the denial of a land-use permit by the St. Johns River Management District violated the “essential nexus test” used by the court to determine when permit conditions, whether monetary or tangible property requirements, are justified. Under the terms of the proposed permit, the District required the developer to either reduce the scale of its project and give up control of some of his property, or finance improvements to 50 acres of government-owned property elsewhere. The Court reasoned that the conditions imposed were not closely connected and appropriate to the development.
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