In Palm Beach County, near the ocean there is what is known as the “Indian River.” Basically it’s a huge bay that seperates the mainland from the beaches.
Because of land values, of waterfront property several developers actually erected largish artificial islands in the Indian River, allowing condos and trailer parks with easy access to the beach.
For environmental reasons, you are not allowed to erect these things anymore. The Government also wants to have these things fade away naturally over time. What maintenance you are allowed to do to maintain these artificial erections (heh. heh,) is strictly controlled.
My in-laws own a condo on one of these, and apparently the condo association has been fined big time for shoring up certain eroding areas. They called today to complain, both about the fine, and because their condo was one that was in jeopardy.
Shouldn’t these people be allowed to preserve their houses, or shouldn’t the government by them if for the good of the environment they can’t remain?
I’m going to assume that it was legal when they built it. I really know nothing more about it. The name of the Island is Nettle’s Island, and I have a postcard aerial picture. It’s a perfect square. I’ve been there, it’s kind of nice.
That’s the problem with you conservatives. You never take personal responsibility for your actions! You end up in some bad situation through your own free choices and then want the government to come in and bail you out!
Okay, I’ll try to give a less flippant answer now. I imagine that this sort of thing is fairly codified in the law, so I guess it should be based on that. But, if you were to ask me what the law ought to be: I guess the question is whether they had a reasonable expectation at the time they bought the property that they would be able to maintain it from the erosion into the future. This, in my mind, would be what determines if they are entitled to any compensation. Now, defining that “reasonable expectation” is the rub. Part of what comes into reasonable expectation is what part of the property is involved…I.e., there is probably a higher expectation that you can keep your home from washing away than that you can keep your 1 acre of property from shrinking to 0.9 acres over 50 years because you aren’t allowed to fight against the erosion. Also, it would depend on how insurance policies are written. Surely, they must have insurance for a hurricane coming through and washing it away. Are those insurance policies also written to cover more gradual encroachments by the sea?
I would call that rather hypocritical, considering that it’s liberal enviromental law that placed these people in the situation that they are in in the first place!
Environmental law seems to be the best and most subtle attack on personal property rights. A little water on that field over there?? Sorry…that’s a wetland…can’t build anything there!!! One spotted owl sighted in your forests?? Sorry…that 20,000 acres is his habitat and you can’t do anything with it!! This clear violation of property rights is the watermelon’s (green on the outside, red on the inside) best tool to take what belongs to YOU…your property and your life. After all, an assault on property is in a way an assault on your life, because it represents the earnings and choices of your life, and it doesn’t matter whether it’s a robber (illegal theft) or the government (legalized theft) doing it.
Oooh, another “watermelon” conspiracy theory used as an excuse to oppose environmental regulation! Thanks RugbyMan, I’m collecting instances of “watermelon” conspiracy theories just now: all that green and red makes nice holiday decorations. Of course, if you can provide an actual cite supporting your claim that environmental regulation is really nothing more than a tool for the eradication of private property rights, it will cease to be a conspiracy theory and I’ll have to remove it from my collection. But somehow I doubt that that will happen…
“Clear violation of property rights”? Please. There are in practice no unlimited absolute rights, and there’s no reason why property rights should be an exception. Plenty of other sorts of restrictions already exist on the permitted usage of privately owned property, and environmental restrictions come as part of that package. That’s not to say that environmental regulation can’t sometimes go overboard, of course, and you are perfectly free to object to any restrictions you think are too draconian. But painting them as some kind of crypto-Communist assault on your life won’t get you anywhere but laughed at.
Forgive me, but I just had to pop in here to say that when I first saw the title of this thread, it really seemed to me that Stoidela would really be the most likely person to post about erections in Florida.
Kimstu, well said, as usual. Scylla, FWIW, if they were clearly legal to build at the time (as opposed to questionable but people took the chance anyway), then I think the government should exercise its eminent domain power and buy them. However, if, for example, the people bought a limited-time license to build the islands or something else, and now the government isn’t renewing the license, then tough. When we were looking for apartments in Manhattan, my wife and I absolutely loved an apartment in a nice building in a good neighborhood within our price range. However, the building had a land lease - the co-op corporation (an animal peculiar to NYC and, I believe, South Florida) owned the building, but leased the land from something like the Danish government. Even though the land lease wasn’t up until 2023 or thereabouts, we didn’t buy, because we knew that, although it wasn’t likely that something bad would happen upon renewal, it was certainly possible, and we weren’t willing to take that risk.
Having reread the thread more carefully, I agree with jshore.
Since I am not a lawyer I cannot say about any particular cases, but the Supreme Court has heard cases of enviromental laws being essentially a taking of property. I specifically remember a case about 6 or 7 years ago involving some poreporty owners in South Carolina. This does not mean that this is the case here. If the property was purchased when after the enviromentl laws were in place then there can be no taking of poperty rights, if I recall correctly. This is because the reqtriction is priced into the property when it is purchased. If the laws were put into place after the property was purchased then there may be a case for an illegal taking of property.