LAKE TAHOE-A three-year building moratorium ordered in 1981 by the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency denied Tahoe landowners the right to develop their properties. Others, extending to present times, have followed this restriction.

The moratorium was aimed at preventing further damage to Lake Tahoe, which has deteriorated over the past 40 years due to the development of the Lake Tahoe Basin.

Fed up with paying property taxes on land that they cannot use, property owners in the 1980s filed a lawsuit for reimbursement for damages due to the original 32-month ban on construction. They argued that, even though it was a temporary ban, the government agency is responsible for losses caused by an unconstitutional ban on property development.

The battle for reimbursement finally made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which just rendered its decision. The court voted 6 to 3 to deny the property owners any payment for damages for the 32-month construction ban, because the ban was “temporary.”

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