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MACDONALD ET AL. V. COUNTY OF YOLO, 477 U. S. 340 (1986)

U.S. Supreme Court

MacDonald et al. v. County of Yolo, 477 U.S. 340 (1986)

MacDonald, Sommer & Frates v. County of Yolo

No. 84-2015

Argued March 26, 1986

Decided June 25, 1986

477 U.S. 340


Appellant submitted a proposal to the Yolo County Planning Commission to subdivide certain property into 159 single-family and multifamily residential lots. The Commission rejected the proposal, and the County Board of Supervisors affirmed on the grounds that the proposal failed to provide adequate public street access, sewer services, water supplies, and police protection. Appellant then filed an action in California Superior Court, alleging that appellee county and city restricted the property in question to agricultural use by denying all subdivision applications, and thereby appropriated the "entire economic use" of the property for the sole purpose of providing a public, open-space buffer. Appellant sought declaratory and monetary relief. The court sustained a demurrer to the complaint, holding that appellant's factual allegations were insufficient and that monetary damages for inverse condemnation were foreclosed by Agins v. City of Tiburon, 24 Cal.3d 266, 598 P.2d 25, aff'd, 447 U. S. 255. The California Court of Appeal affirmed, and the California Supreme Court denied appellant's petition for hearing.

Held: Absent a final and authoritative determination by the County Planning Commission as to how it will apply the regulations at issue to the property in question, this Court cannot determine whether a "taking" has occurred or whether the county failed to provide "just compensation." Without knowing the nature and extent of permitted development, this Court cannot adjudicate the constitutionality of the regulations that purport to limit it. Pp. 477 U. S. 348-353.


STEVENS, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which BRENNAN, MARSHALL, BLACKMUN, and O'CONNOR, JJ., joined. WHITE, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which BURGER, C.J., joined and in Parts I, II, and III of which POWELL and REHNQUIST, JJ., joined, post, p. 477 U. S. 353. REHNQUIST, J., filed a dissenting opinion in which POWELL, J., joined, post, p. 477 U. S. 364.

Page 477 U. S. 342

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