January 01, 2018

One Parcel Plus One Parcel Equals a “Parcel as a Whole”: Murr v. Wisconsin’s Fluid Calculations for Regulatory Takings

Shelby D. Green

The Court’s most recent major property law case, Murr v. Wisconsin, 137 S. Ct. 1933 (2017), tackles one of the thorny, recurring issues in regulatory takings jurisprudence: what is the proper “denominator” to use in determining whether a government regulation has so greatly diminished the economic value of a parcel of land that it effects a taking? More specifically, Murr looked at what constitutes the “parcel as a whole” when a landowner holds title to two contiguous lots. Should a court assess the economic impact on the value of each lot separately or the impact on the value of the two lots together? In answering that question, the Court added another multi-factored test to the already complex web of regulatory takings law.

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