Land-use regulation does not effect a taking if it substantially advances legitimate state interests and does not deny an owner economically viable use of his land.
Appellant landowners brought suit to invalidate a condition on their land permit requiring them to grant the public an easement across their beachfront property. The court of appeals found the condition to be valid and reversed the writ of mandamus issued by the superior court. The United States Supreme Court granted review and found that the right to exclude others from private property was an essential right to the ownership of property. The judgment of the court of appeals was reversed because conditioning a building permit upon a grant of a public easement constituted a taking of appellant's property and required the state to compensate appellants.
Is the requirement of a grant of public easement across the beachfront section of private property, as condition of granting permit to build house on property, held to effect taking of property without just compensation in violation of Fifth Amendment?
If government action resulted in permanent occupation of land, it would effect a taking unless it substantially furthered legitimate state interests. The Court found that California required the use of eminent domain to obtain easements across private property and the condition imposed was not a use of eminent domain. The Court finally held that the condition was a taking and that, if the state wanted an easement, it would have to compensate appellants.