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Goldblatt v. Town of Hempstead, 369 U.S. 590 (1962)

Goldblatt v. Town of Hempstead

No. 78

Argued January 15-16, 1962

Decided ay 14, 1962

369 U.S. 590


The individual appellant owned a 38-acre tract within the Town of Hempstead on which the corporate appellant had been mining sand and gravel continuously since 1927. During the first year, the excavation reached the water table, leaving a water-filled crater which had since been widened and deepened until it became a 20-acre lake with an average depth of 25 feet, around which the Town had expanded until, within a radius of 3,500 feet, there were more than 2,200 homes and 4 public schools with a combined enrollment of 4,500 pupils. In 1958, the Town amended its ordinance regulating such excavations so as to prohibit any excavating below the water table. Although this concededly prohibited the beneficial use to which the property had previously been devoted, a state court granted the Town an injunction to enforce this prohibition.

Held: on the record in this case, appellants have not sustained the burden of showing that the depth limitation is so onerous and unreasonable as to result in a taking of their property without due process of law in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment. Pp. 369 U. S. 590-598.

9 N.Y.2d 101, 172 N.E.2d 562, affirmed.

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