The Supreme Court held that the government may not attach conditions to building permits that result in the taking of private property without just compensation, in violation of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments.

Florence Dolan applied for a building permit to expand her plumbing and electrical supply store in Tigard, Oregon. As part of a land-management program, the city refused to issue the permit unless she dedicated 10 percent of her land for two purposes: a public greenway for flood control and a pedestrian/bicycle pathway to relieve traffic congestion in the city. Dolan claimed that this requirement of dedicating land for a permit constituted a taking of private property without compensation. The state’s high court rejected her claim.Takings clause;Dolan v. City of Tigard[Dolan v. City of Tigard]

The Rehnquist Court in the same year it passed down the Dolan decision.

(Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States)

By a 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court remanded the case for reconsideration. Speaking for the majority, Chief Justice William H. RehnquistRehnquist, William H.;Dolan v. City of Tigard[Dolan v. City of Tigard] concluded that in the circumstances, the city had the burden to show a “rough proportionality” between the building permit requirements and the individualized problems associated with the building project. Judging from the record, Rehnquist did not think the city had demonstrated a reasonable relationship between the project and the need for the greenway space and the pathway. If the city simply wanted some of Dolan’s land for drainage and recreation purposes, it would be required to pay her just compensation. In a dissent, Justice John Paul Stevens criticized the majority for imposing a “novel burden of proof” on a city implementing a valid land-use plan.

Nollan v. California Coastal Commission

Property rights

Takings clause