As usual, the year has flown by and the New Year is upon us. You might remember from my last post, that we took a Christmas-flavored look at takings with St. Nick. Now it’s time to look ahead. When my wife and I were walking in a local nature preserve on Christmas Day, I took a picture of a fantastic tree that I named the “Animals’ Staircase.”

As you can see, the Animals’ Staircase ascends gradually and then with increasing steepness.  It was easy to picture a small animal running up the Staircase to get a better view of something.

And just like that small animal running up the Staircase, let’s use this post to try to get a better view of what 2017 might bring to “takings law,” which to me means eminent domain, Bert J. Harris, Jr., Private Property Rights Protection Act claims, and inverse condemnation.

I anticipate that property owners in Southwest Florida will encounter more projects that involve threats of condemnation.  As an example, Charlotte County is moving forward with widening plans on Burnt Store Road. I predict that we will get a definitive ruling from the Florida Supreme Court on the issue of whether a property owner has a Bert Harris claim based on the government’s actions in respect to a neighboring property, ending the conflict between Smith v. City of Jacksonville and FINR II, Inc. v. Hardee County.

So, be on the lookout for these developments in the field of takings law.  And be careful, it’s a jungle out there.