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Constitutional Law – takings — wind farms

United States Court of Appeals For the Seventh Circuit


Constitutional Law – takings — wind farms

It does not violate the Takings Clause for a municipality to rezone adjacent property to make it easier to build a wind farm on the property.

Yet it is germane to the merits if not to jurisdiction that no property of the plaintiff’s has yet been taken, or will be until and unless a wind farm is built near her property— and probably not even then. A taking within the meaning of the takings clause of the U.S. Constitution has to be an actual transfer of ownership or possession of property, or the enforcement of a regulation that renders the property essentially worthless to its owner. Lucas v. South Carolina Coastal Council, 505 U.S. 1003, 1015-16 (1992); Muscarello v. Ogle County Board of Commissioners, supra, 610 F.3d at 421-22; Gamble v. Eau Claire County, 5 F.3d 285, 286 (7th Cir. 1993). The 2009 Winnebago ordinance does not transfer possession of any of the plaintiff’s land or limit her use of it.”


11-2332 & 11-3258 Muscarello v. Winnebago County Board

Appeals from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Kapala, J., Posner, J.

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