Hiram Perry: No More Regulatory Takings Without Adequate Pay

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Hiram Perry: No More Regulatory Takings Without Adequate Pay

No More Regulatory Takings Without Adequate PaymentDate: Sun, 28 Oct 2001by Hiram PerryOn June 28 of this year the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that when agovernment ruling depreciates the value of a piece of property, that loss ofvalue must be paid to the owner, when property is taken for public or otheruse. An example may be a simple environmental ruling, a wetland edict, forinstance."This new ruling by the Supreme Court sends a clear message to stateand federal regulators across the country; no matter how well intentionedtheir environmental goals are, they cannot put a freeze on the use ofprivate property, without giving the owner a fair price for it", points outPacific Legal Foundation attorney Jim Burling, who won this argument beforethe Supreme Court in mid 2001."The Court reaffirmed a common law principle that has been with ussince the Magna Carta", pointed out Attorney Burling. He goes on,"Regulatory takings by environmental rulings are pretty common today. Now aproperty owner can demand a fair market price when a 'regulatory taking'virtually condemns his property".Wetland rulings are a case in point. "We must protect those animalspecies that flourish in a wetland", environmental enthusiasts point out.And so often state and national (EPA) regulators agree. Very often theyforbid development of such property for a hundred and one reasons.Actually the intelligent development of 'wetlsands' has sometimesproven to be a very desirable situation. For instance, look at thosesplendid counties of Holland and Belgium, perhaps two of the finestcivilizations on the European continent. I am also told that much ofWashington, D.C. was once a wetland.Right here in Maine, check out that great wetland area in Fryeburg.Long before the word 'wetland' became a naughty environmental phrase,residents of Fryeburg drained thousands of acres of their land and createdin Fryeburg, some of the finest, most productive farm land areas in theNortheast. Left to themselves, environmentalists today would not permitsuch a transformation of these wetlands.A ruling that forbids practical and intelligent use of land (and many awetland ruling does just that) may well be downright stupid. Wetlandrulings often are. This new Supreme Court edict does not forbid such aruling, it merely says that the cost to the owner of such a ruling must bepaid for by all of society, not simply by the unlucky owner of such a pieceof land.Is there anything unfair here? I think not.Hiram M. Perry, 6 Miles Rd., Newburgh, Me. 04444 Tel. 234-289Fax 234-2940 e-mail: [email]perry@uninets.net[/email]