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Ordinance Aimed at Limiting Student Rentals Not a Takings
Description Indiana high court upheld a Bloomington ordinance restricting the number of unrelated adults that could rent property together. Landlords who lost income contested the provision as a takings, but the challenge was rejected as properly within the zoning powers of the city.
Topic Constitutional Law
Key Words Takings Clause; Zoning
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts A Bloomington, Indiana zoning ordinance was imposed to limit occupancy of dwellings in certain neighborhoods to a maximum of three unrelated adults. Some properties were affected because they had been continuously rented to more than three unrelated adults. Currently rented property was protected by a grandfather clause. The Leiszs later bought some grandfathered rental property that lost its protection because it had not been properly registered with the city, thereby limiting the number of renters they could have on the property. They were convicted of violating the ordinance; they contested it as a takings. The appeals court held the zoning ordinance to be a takings. City appealed.
Decision Reversed. The ordinance is not unconstitutional. It does not involve a physical invasion of their land, it "merely limits the use of their rental property." Further, it "does not deny the Leiszs all economically beneficial or productive use of their land. Rather, it denies them at most 25% to 40% of the rental income that they might otherwise receive." There is a legitimate state interest in such zoning provisions.
Citation Board of Zoning Appeals, Bloomington, Ind. v. Leisz, 702 N.E.2d 1026 (Sup. Ct., Ind., 1998)

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