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Deltona Corp. v. United States

Citation: 11 ELR 20905
No. No. 370-76, 657 F.2d 1184/16 ERC 1482/228 Ct. Cl. 476, (Ct. Cl., 08/19/1981)

The Court of Claims holds that the Army Corps of Engineers' denial of dredge and fill permits for completion of a planned residential development on Florida's Marco Island does not constitute a taking under the Fifth Amendment. Plaintiff acquired its Marco Island property in 1964 and received the permits necessary to develop three of its five areas. In 1976, however, the Corps denied permits necessary to develop the mangrove wetlands of the remaining two areas under § 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act and § 404 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments of 1972. The court holds that frustration of investment-backed expectations does not establish a taking where there is only a diminution of value, so long as legitimate governmental interests are advanced and the owner is not denied economically viable use of his land. Since the Corps' permit standards advance important federal interests and plaintiff's land retains substantial economic value for development of upland portions, no taking is established.

Counsel for Plaintiff
William L. Earl
One Biscayne Tower, Suite 3636, Two S. Biscayne Blvd., Miami FL 33131
(305) 358-3000

Counsel for Defendant
Fred R. Disheroon; Carol E. Dinkins, Ass't Attorney General
Land and Natural Resources Division
Department of Justice, Washington DC 20530
(202) 633-2307

Before FRIEDMAN, Chief Judge, SKELTON, Senior Judge, and KUNZIG, Judge.