Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management District
NY Times editorial: ‘Where Is the Taking?’
It involves a decision by the water management district in Central Florida — an agency charged with protecting wetlands — to deny a permit to the Koontz family to develop three-plus acres of wetlands near Orlando because the family refused to contribute money to wetlands protection elsewhere in the state.
This kind of mitigation under environmental law is common in cases involving statutes protecting clean water and endangered species. The family offered to preserve 11 acres that it owned, but the water management district rightly said that preserving what already existed was not mitigation.
The Koontz family sought monetary compensation, but as the justices noted, the district has not condemned an iota of the land and has not required the family to do anything to its property. It simply denied the family a permit for development.