The Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of the First Lutheran Church over Los Angeles County has less serious repercussions on land use planning and regulation, particularly those aimed at farmland protection, than is commonly believed. The concept of a “taking” defines the limit of what government regulators can and cannot do to affect the use of land. Though the concept of a “temporary taking” has been introduced, the definition of “taking” remains the same. If regulations are based on a carefully prepared comprehensive land use plan that considers such factors relating to agricultural viability as soil capability, and if they permit some nonfarm development that won’t interfere with agricultural uses, they should stand up against virtually any taking challenge.
The First Lutheran Church Case, “Temporary Takings” and Farmland Protection
Edward Thompson, Jr
Washington, DC: American Farmland Trust
January 01, 1987
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