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The Takings Doctrine In the Wisconsin Supreme Court: Just v. Marinette County

June 1973

Citation: ELR 10080

A 1972 decision of the Supreme Court of Wisconsin is rapidly becoming a landmark case in the law of land use regulation. In Just v. Marinette County, the court ruled that governmental regulation restricting the use of land to "indigenous and natural" uses is not a taking that requires compensation. Regulations that preserve presently enjoyed public rights are an exercise of the police power, said the court, while those that secure new benefits are a use of eminent domain.

The case arose as a challenge to the enforcement of Marinette county's Shoreland Zoning Ordinance.2 The ordinance was designed to satisfy state requirements for shoreland regulation. Detailed standards pursuant to the statute were promulgated by the state department of natural resources, including a model ordinance, that was adopted by Marinette County.

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