The US Supreme Court is set to resolve a critically important question of regulatory takings law this term in the case, Murr v. State of Wisconsin, Dkt. No. 15-214. At issue is the “relevant parcel” inquiry, which is the threshold determination to the multi-factor regulatory takings test established by Penn Central Transp. Co. v. New York City (1978). That test directs courts to determine the impact of a regulation on the “parcel as a whole” by considering the character of the state action, the economic impact of the regulation and the regulation’s interference with the owner’s investment-backed expectations. Murr asks what the term “parcel as a whole” means in practice—does it limit the takings inquiry to the regulated parcel or does it allow the government to combine the owner’s interests in other parcels of land? The answer to that question is currently subject to a nationwide split of authority among the lower courts, resulting in inconsistent decisions applying the Takings Clause of the US Constitution and creating an environment of uncertainty for both landowners and government alike.The US Supreme Court has often analogized the takings inquiry to solving a fraction where the impact of the regulation provides the numerator and… Read full this story
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