Other property rights suits TRPA has been involved in
Case: Tahoe Sierra Preservation Council vs. TRPA
Background: This 15-year-old suit, with more than 400 plaintiffs, was filed after TRPA issued a series of moratoriums in the 1980s, stopping property owners from developing in certain environmentally sensitive areas. The plaintiffs claim this is an illegal taking of property, and they should be reimbursed. After seesawing through the court system for years – including twice being rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court – it went to trial in December 1998. The judge ruled partially in favor of both sides, and both are in the process of appealing the decision to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.
Case: TRPA vs. Barbieri
Background: TRPA filed this suit in 1995 when a Santa Rosa, Calif., family allegedly built on a stream zone property on the West Shore where building is prohibited. The Barbieris filed a counter-claim alleging that the restrictions represented an illegal taking. A trial may happen in 2001.
Case: Bernadine Suitum vs. TRPA
Resolution: TRPA this year paid $600,000 to settle suit
Background: Suitum filed this in 1991 after TRPA wouldn’t allow her to build on her stream zone property. Suitum claimed she should be reimbursed for the taking. U.S. District Court Judge Edward Reed in 1994 agreed to dismiss the case. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld that decision in 1996. However, the U.S. Supreme Court in 1997 reversed it. A trial was scheduled for April 1999, but TRPA’s governing board agreed to spend $600,000 to settle it. Suitum’s attorney, Larry Hoffman, described it as a “substantial victory,” because it was the first time TRPA paid to settle a takings lawsuit.