Inverse Condemnation


Property Owners Cannot Compel A Condemnation. A property owner cannot force a compensable regulatory taking by bringing an inverse condemnation action before exhausting the administrative remedies available to challenge a zoning law or regulation. Here, a property owner did not directly challenge zoning regulations which prevented development of almost 40% of his property but, instead, filed an inverse condemnation action based upon the alleged regulatory taking (i.e., a taking resulting from the application of zoning laws or regulations limiting development of property). The Supreme Court upheld a dismissal of the property owner’s lawsuit on the ground that the owner was required to exhaust all available administrative remedies before bringing an inverse condemnation action so that the governmental entity would have the opportunity to amend, withdraw or vary the act, decision or ordinance as it applied to that owner’s property rather than pay compensation. Failure to exhaust available administrative remedies may be treated as a waiver of any taking. This requirement does not apply to inverse condemnation actions based upon irrevocable takings (i.e., takings that result from physical damage to or invasion of the property itself). (R.R. Hensler v. City of Glendale (1994) 8 Cal.4th 1.)

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