Pima County Superior Court judge has ruled in favor of Goldwater
Institute client Mike Goodman, who filed suit against the City of
Tucson under Arizona's Proposition 207, the Private Property Rights
Protection Act passed by Arizona voters in 2006, which requires
government to compensate property owners if they pass laws or
regulations that diminish property values.
The verdict clears the legal path for Goodman to be awarded the first court-mandated damages under Prop 207.
voters overwhelmingly embraced greater protection of private property
rights," said Clint Bolick, director of the Goldwater Institute
Scharf-Norton Center for Constitutional Litigation, "and this ruling
vindicates that intent."
Goodman, a Tucson builder, buys run-down properties in the downtown
area and near the University of Arizona, and replaces them with new
housing that meets or exceeds zoning requirements and building
standards. But in 2007 the City of Tucson enacted an anti-demolition
ordinance that subjected property owners to a labyrinth of rules that
limited property use and instantly reduced property values for
thousands of homeowners and small business owners. This ordinance
applied to Mr. Goodman after he had received building permits and begun
the building process.
presiding judge, Hon. Paul Tang, wrote in his decision, "The Court
believes that the public's interest in laws requiring compensation for
partial regulatory takings is significant and arguably compelling." He
also wrote, "To adopt the City's view . . . would render [Prop 207's
intent] superfluous and obsolete."
The next step in Goodman v. City of Tucson
is to determine the amount of damages the City must pay. "[F]or every
actionable injury there is a corresponding right to damages," Judge
Tang added. Prop 207 is "part of a greater effort and movement in favor
of individual rights."
For more information on this and other Goldwater Institute lawsuits visit www.goldwaterinstitute.org/litigation. The Goldwater Institute is an independent government watchdog supported by people who are committed to expanding free enterprise and liberty.