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Horizon Adirondack Corp. v. State

ELR Citation: 7 ELR 20122
Nos. No. 58949, 388 N.Y.S.2d 235/88 Misc. 2d 619, (N.Y. Ct. Cl., 10/21/1976)

The court, in granting the state's motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, finds that the Adirondack Park Agency Act does not create a de facto taking of private property for which compensation must be paid. Plaintiff owns 24,000 acres in the park upon which plaintiff intended to construct nearly 7,000 dwelling units. The Agency's land use plan restricted plaintiff's development to a maximum of 1,608 units. As the plaintiff's challenge refers to the Act's effect upon only its property, the court of claims has jurisdiction. Under New York law, a de facto taking can occur only from physical invasion or direct legal restraints on private property. Direct legal restraints do not per se include land use restrictions such as those embodied in the Adirondack Park Agency Act. Significantly, the Act is not an "avowed taking statute" that exercises eminent domain powers, nor are its restrictions the kind of governmental acts that constitute a taking. Changes in value of private property through governmental actions, absent specific takings, are not compensable. Cases that hold zoning ordinances to be de facto takings do not control this case, because they involve a systematic governmental plan to acquire private property. In considering the fairness of the Act's restrictions, the burden on local owners must be balanced against regional and state interests in preserving the Adirondack region. In addition, the fiscal impact on the state of requiring compensation for the Act's restrictions must be considered. Plaintiff retains its right to seek a declaration in the Supreme Court that the Act is an unconstitutional exercise of the state's police power.

Counsel for Claimant
William J. Murphy
Burke & Murphy
Executive Park Tower
Albany NY 12203
(518) 438-8471

Counsel for State
Louis J. Lefkowitz, Attorney General
Carl Rosenbloom
Joseph A. Romano Asst. Attorneys General
State Capitol
Albany NY 12224
(518) 474-7330

Counsel for Amicus Curiae
Jeremiah F. Manning
Ainsworth, Sullivan, Tracy & Knauf
75 State St.
Albany NY 12207
(518) 434-4171