What Exactly are Exactions?
New York Environmental Lawyer (Spring 2013)
5 Pages Posted: 29 Jun 2013 Last revised: 7 Nov 2013
Date Written: June 26, 2013
This brief piece for the publication of the Environmental Law Section of the New York Bar Association discusses the potential implications of Koontz v. St. John's River Water Management District (pending before the U.S. Supreme Court) and its implications for New York law. While all exactions must undergo a Nollan/Dolan level of scrutiny, New York courts have limited the reach of this analysis by narrowly defining what constitutes an exaction. In Smith v. Town of Mendon, the New York Court of Appeals defined exactions strangely. First, it held that conservation restrictions did not qualify as exactions unless they required public access. Second, bound by precedent, the court recognized that in lieu fees are exactions requiring Nollan/Dolan analysis. These holdings seem out of step with Supreme Court jurisprudence and likely to require revisitation after the Court issues its opinion in Koontz. At oral argument, the justices appeared to interpret exactions much more broadly than the New York courts.
Keywords: Koontz, Exactions, Nollan, Dolan, Takings, Town of Mendon
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