Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management District: The United States Supreme Court Expands Fifth Amendment Takings Protections To Limit Monetary Exactions in Land Use Matters
By MITCHELL B. MENZER & KAREN MICHAIL SHAH
In Koontz v. St Johns River Water Management District, the U.S. Supreme Court has expanded the landowner’s Fifth Amendment protections against takings to certain monetary exactions imposed by a government agency as part of its land use permitting process. Now, when a government agency requires that a landowner perform services or pay a fee in lieu of performing the services as a condition to approving a development permit, the government must establish a "nexus" between the requirement, or the exaction, and the impact of the development, and the exaction must be "roughly proportional" to the impact being addressed by the government. The case has raised critical questions about how broadly the ruling will be applied, how developers will enforce their remedies for exactions that violate the nexus and rough proportionality tests, and how government agencies will respond to the increased scrutiny on monetary exactions.