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Animas Valley Sand & Gravel, Inc. v. Board of County Comm'rs of the County of La Plata, Colo.

Citation: 30 ELR 20361
No. No. 98CA1474, 8 P.3d 522/(Colo. Ct. App., 02/03/2000)

The court holds that a mine company cannot argue that a partial taking occurred when a county adopted a land use plan that designated a tract of the company's land as a river corridor where no mining could occur. The court first holds that the record is unclear as to what burden of proof the trial court applied. In an inverse condemnation suit, the property owner must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that there was a taking or a damaging of property interest. When the trial court determined that the burden of proof falls upon the aggrieved landowner to prove that no reasonable use for the land exists, it did not state which burden of proof it applied. Therefore, the case is remanded for new findings using a preponderanceof the evidence standard and the court is unable to address the mining company's contention that the designation of the property as part of the river corridor constituted a taking. The court next holds that state law does not recognize a partial taking when a regulation significantly diminishes the value of property. There is no constitutional violation when a zoning law does not deny a landowner all economically viable use of the property.

The full text of this opinion is available from ELR (6 pp., ELR Order No. L-177).

Counsel for Plaintiff
William E. Zimsky
Abadie & Zimsky
813 Main Ave., Durango CO 81301
(970) 385-4401

Counsel for Defendant
Michael A. Goldman
Goldman, Robbins & Rogers
850 Main Ave., Durango CO 81301
(970) 259-8747