Koontz v. St Johns River Water Management District

Supreme Court of the United States
133 S.Ct. 2586, 186 L.Ed. 697 (2013)

Governments may condition approval of a land use permit on the dedication of property, so long as there is an “essential link” (or “nexus”) and “rough proportionality” between the property demanded and the social costs of the proposed development. Applicants may be asked to bear the full proportionate cost of their proposed development, but government may not “extort” more than that cost.

Rough proportionality analysis does not change depending on whether property is actually dedicated, or whether the permit is denied because the developer refused to comply. Extortionate demands for property in the land use permitting context run afoul of the Takings Clause not because they take property, but because they impermissibly burden the right not to have property taken without just compensation.

Refusal to cede a constitutional right in the face of coercive pressure, leading to an impermissible denial of a government benefit (such as a land use permit) is a constitutionally cognizable injury. A person may pursue a claim from that injury through state courts.

A predicate for any “unconstitional conditions” claim is that the government could not have constitutionally ordered the person asserting the claim to do what it attempted to pressure that person into doing.

Monetary exactions (requiring payment of money or construction of improvements instead of dedication of land) are exactions that must satisfy rough proportionality analysis.

Full Text of Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management District