Supreme Court Holds that Building Permit Fees Imposed by Legislation Are Subject to Scrutiny under Constitution’s Takings Clause

May 1, 2024
Dylan G. LaMorte, Esq.
MGKF Litigation Blog

On April 12, 2024, the United States Supreme Court unanimously decided Sheetz v. County of El Dorado, California, No. 22-1074, holding that county-level legislation that imposes conditions on the receipt of building permits, here the imposition of traffic impact fees, may amount to a taking under the Constitution’s Fifth Amendment when the conditions do not have an “essential nexus” to the government’s land use interest and a “rough proportionality” to the proposed development’s impact on that interest.  The ruling overturned decisions from lower courts that had held that the Takings Clause operates to invalidate only administrative conditions imposed by local land use agencies, not legislative enactments like the traffic impact fee imposed by the County in this case. 

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