Brief Fact Summary. The Petitioner, Palazzolo (Petitioner), owned a waterfront parcel of land, almost all of which was designated coastal wetland. The Respondent, the state of Rhode Island (Respondent), rejected Petitioner’s development proposals.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. A regulation may be found to constitute a taking if it goes too far in light of the property owner’s reasonable investment backed expectations, even though it does not deprive the owner of all economically viable use.
Issue. Whether the Rhode Island Coast Resources Management Council’s application of the wetlands regulations was a taking without just compensation.
Held. Owner was not deprived of all economically valuable use. Remanded for consideration under the Penn Central analysis. On remand the court would need to make a determination of whether the regulations went too far so as to constitute taking, considering the owner’s investment backed expectations. Court would have to consider whether he has suffered a taking even though some use of the parcel remained viable and also considering the character of the government’s action and the economic interference with owner’s investment backed expectations.
The Supreme Court of the United States (Supreme Court) expressed some sympathy for the argument that the upward parcel could be distinct and separate from the rest of the parcel. However, the Petitioner did not properly raise the argument at the state court level such that the Supreme Court was only considering whether it was a taking as to the entire parcel as a whole. However, the question of what was the proper denominator, i.e. whether the whole property or just a fraction of the property, must be considered was a question left open for the future.
The Supreme Court also found that the date of personal acquisition of title, after the regulation was passed, did not bar this takings claim.
A judicial construction of a statute is an authoritative statement of what the statute meant before as well as after the decision of the case giving rise to that construction.View Full Point of Law