Texas Landowners Council



U.S. Supreme Court Cases:  Regulatory Takings

Penn Central Transportation Co. v. New York City Case 77-444 (1978)

This case involved a historical building preservation commission, which denied owners the right to construct a new building adjoining a historic building. Property owners sued and argued that this was a taking. The court ruled that only if the regulation destroys all reasonable use has a taking occurred.

Tahoe-Sierra Preservation Council, Inc., et al. v. Tahoe Regional Planning Agency et al. Case 00-1167 (2002)

Tahoe Regional Planning Agency imposed a moratorium on all development in the Lake Tahoe Basin area for a period totaling 32 months while formulating a land use plan for the area. The Court decided this was not per se a taking of property requiring compensation under the Takings Clause.  Justice Thomas wrote in his dissent:  "A taking is exactly what occurred in this case. These individuals and families were deprived of the opportunity to build single-family homes as permanent, retirement, or vacation residences on land upon which such construction was authorized when purchased. ... I would hold that regulations prohibiting all productive uses of property are subject to Lucas per se rule, regardless of whether the property so burdened retains theoretical useful life and value if, and when, the temporary moratorium is lifted. To my mind, such potential future value bears on the amount of compensation due and has nothing to do with the question whether there was a taking in the first place.  It is regrettable that the Court has charted a markedly different path today."

Palazzolo v. Rhode Island Case 99-2047 (2001)

A landowner may challenge state rules or regulations under the Takings Clause even if the enactment took place prior to transfer of title.

Nollan v. California Coastal Commission Case 86-133 (1987)

This case examined the question of when a property owner can be required to dedicate part of their property to the public in order to obtain a development permit.  The Court held that there must be a substantial connection between a public burden created by the project and the required dedication.

Dolan v. City of Tigard Case 93-518 (1994)

The Tigard City Planning Commission conditioned approval of the Dolan application to expand a store and pave the parking lot upon compliance with dedication of land for a public greenway and for a bicycle path. The Court held that the Fifth Amendment requires a "rough proportionality" relationship between the conditions and the impact of the development.

Texas Supreme Court Case:  Damages

Tarrant Regional Water District v. Gragg Case 01-0362 (2004)

The landowner was awarded damages caused by a reservoir, which maintained a water level that was too high. This forced the water district to fully open the floodgates when there was heavy rainfall upstream.  Land and cattle were destroyed.

“The Supreme Court Rules It’s A Brave New World”

By Edmond R. McCarthy, Jr.

"A Victory for the Little Guys"

By Texas Agriculture Commissioner Susan Combs, Livestock Weekly July 22, 2004 page 12

Bandera County Courier Farm and Ranch News:  TLC Articles

“Landowner sues LCRA”

By Lauren Stucky, January 10, 2008

“Texas Supreme Court upholds taking of private roads”

By Lauren Stucky Flake, January 24, 2008

“Landowner up a creek”

By Lauren Stucky Flake and Jimmy Gaines, May 1, 2008

“House addresses wind regulations”

By Lauren Stucky Flake, July 10, 2008

“Wind Siting Hearing”

By Lauren Flake, November 6, 2008


Texas Public Policy Foundation:  Regulatory Takings Publications

Texas Public Policy Foundation:  Endangered Species Act Publications

National Center for Policy Analysis March 24, 1999:  “The Truth about Urban Sprawl”