Coy Koontz bought his property in 1971. Florida declared his land wetlands in 1984 – after the fact.
He sought a permit to develop some of the land and the government demanded he would need to take steps to remediate the damage he would cause.
In 1994 he offered the government 11 acres out of 15 with the intention of developing the remaining acreage. Then the government demanded $150,000 in off-site improvements. They wanted improvements to his property and an additional 50 acres he didn’t own.
Mr. Koontz said he wouldn’t do it and sued. The battle began with the government believing they had the right to take the land and Mr. Koontz fighting for his rights under the Constitution.
The costs to develop the property was so high that they had to sell the property.
Mr. Koontz died in 2000 but his son has taken over the fight to fulfill his father’s legacy.
Special Report covered it last night:
Justice Scalia has trouble seeing how the government violated the Fifth Amendment but Justice Kennedy thinks it is a classic example of government abuse. The Supreme Court is hearing the case this week.
Can the government use the permitting process to leverage property out of property owners? The reason Mr. Koontz was denied a permit was because he wouldn’t accept the unreasonable and pricey conditions. It was declared wetlands 13 years after it was purchased. Is this fair?
From Fox News – listen to the last minute of the video which is very concerning: