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Posts tagged eminent domain.

Back in December, I discussed the Florida Supreme Court’s decision in Stop the Beach Renourishment, and guessed that the United States Supreme Court would affirm the Florida court’s decision, but duck the novel constitutional question of whether there could be a “judicial taking.” I ended up being a little more than half right. The United States Supreme Court did affirm 8-0, but were hardly unanimous about what to do with the concept of a “judicial taking.”

In 2004, 515 Granby, LLC proposed a $180.5 million condo development. With 34 stories and 327 units, Granby Towers would be the tallest building in Norfolk and would revitalize the northern part of the city. The following year, the federal government threatened to condemn the property, causing just enough of a delay for the ebbing economic tide to overtake the Granby Tower project and thwart 515 Granby’s ability to secure financing.

No state has a longer shoreline than Florida – over 2,000 miles of shoreline, with 825 miles of beaches.  These beaches define Florida's top industry of tourism and are in a constant state of erosion.  Understandably, Florida has embraced the “public trust doctrine,” which dictates that tidal lands are held in trust for the people of Florida. The boundary between state-owned tidal lands and upland properties has traditionally been the “mean high water line” (“MHWL”). The MHWL may move inland due to erosion or seaward when land gradually forms (through accretion). However, the boundary will not shift due to a sudden change in the shoreline (through avulsion).