An Act To Implement Recommendations of the Committee To Review Issues Dealing with Regulatory Takings
Sec. 1. 1 MRSA c. 22 is enacted to read:
§ 851. Definitions
As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings.
§ 852. Right to jury trial
There is a right to trial by jury in any action brought under this chapter.
§ 853. When a regulatory taking occurs
If the right to use, divide, sell, occupy or possess real property is reduced by the enactment or application of any regulation, the property owner may seek relief in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.
§ 854. Entire parcel
For the purposes of this chapter, the diminution of fair market value of real property caused by a regulation must be measured by the diminution of the fair market value of the entire parcel owned by the property owner and not merely the portion of any such parcel to which the regulation directly applies.
§ 855. Excluded regulations
The cause of action established under section 853 does not apply to the following regulations, narrowly construed:
§ 856. Relief
Compensation, damages or a takings variance are available as relief for a regulatory taking, at the option of the State.
§ 857. Limitations
§ 858. Informal dispute resolution
§ 859. Attorney's fees and costs
In an action brought under section 853, the prevailing party is, at the discretion of the court, entitled to reasonable attorney's fees and costs.
§ 860. Land use mediation program
This chapter does not preclude use of the land use mediation program under Title 5, section 3341.
This bill is reported out by the Joint Standing Committee on Judiciary pursuant to Resolve 2011, chapter 111, section 9. This bill incorporates the recommendations of the majority of the Committee to Review Issues Dealing with Regulatory Takings.
The Joint Standing Committee on Judiciary has not taken a position on the substance of the recommendations or the bill, and by reporting out this bill the committee is not suggesting and does not intend to suggest that it agrees or disagrees with any aspect of the study committee's recommendations or this bill. The Joint Standing Committee on Judiciary is reporting the bill out for the sole purpose of turning the study committee's majority proposal into a printed bill that can be referred to the Joint Standing Committee on Judiciary for an appropriate public hearing and subsequent processing in the normal course. The Joint Standing Committee on Judiciary is taking this action to ensure clarity and transparency in the legislative review of the study committee's majority proposal.
The purpose of this bill is to establish standards for relief when state regulation imposes an inordinate burden on an individual property owner, as well as efficient mechanisms for pursuit of such relief.
To eliminate any fiscal impact from the establishment of these new standards and mechanisms, they will apply prospectively: that is, only to burdens from regulations enacted in the future. The bill provides mechanisms designed to achieve fair results and to resolve disputes efficiently, including the ability, at the State's option, to grant variances, which is an option consistent with general land use principles; the encouragement of the use of informal dispute resolution avenues reducing and potentially eliminating any litigation costs; and, when regulatory impact on fair market value depends upon other regulatory avenues, the ability of a property owner to obtain a nonbinding identification of the uses the state will allow on the affected property.
Claims of diminution of fair market value based on speculative uses are precluded by the requirement that the property owner provide an appraisal reflecting a diminution of 50% or more in actual fair market value of the owner's entire parcel as well as by the limitation of relief to the reasonable investment-backed expectations of the owner.