Dolan v. City of Tigard Brief

Essay by fenisnad February 2009

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Dolan v. City of Tigard114 S.Ct. 2309U.S. Supreme CourtJune 24, 1994FactsDolan sought to expand her business within her own property. She applied to the city for a permit to do so, and was granted one with conditions imposed by the City Planning Commission (CDC).

The CDC required that the petitioner dedicate a portion of her property lying within the “100-year floodplain” for improvement of a storm drainage system along Fanno Creek, as well as a 15-foot strip of land adjacent to floodplain to be used as a bicycle and pedestrian walkway.

Procedural HistoryThe petitioner requested variances from CDC standards and was denied. The Oregon Court of Appeals affirmed the denial, after which the Supreme Court granted certiorari.

IssuesOne issue is if there is an “essential nexus” between the “legitimate state interest” and the permit condition applied by the city. The second issue is whether the exactions demanded by the city’s permit conditions is roughly proportional to the needs created by the development.

Arguments of the PartiesDolanDolan argues that “the city’s dedication requirements were not related to the proposed development, and, therefore, those requirements constituted taking of their property under the 5th Amendment.

City of TigardThe city argued that Dolan’s development would create more storm-water flow, which the dedication was meant to offset. The city also states that the bicycle/pedestrian pathway could “Offset some of the traffic demand (nearby)” that Dolan’s expansion would likely create.

HoldingsThe majority held “that the findings upon which the city relies o not show the required reasonable relationship to require petitioner to provide some alternative greenway space for the public.” It also held that the city’s findings “do not show the required relationship between the (easement) and the petitioner’s proposed new building.”Reasoning of the CourtThe court reasoned that the City of Tigard failed to prove a...