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Euclid v Ambler Realty Co. 272 U.S. 465 Euclid v Ambler Realty Co. 272 U.S. 465 (1926) Where it all began.

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Presentation on theme: "Euclid v Ambler Realty Co. 272 U.S. 465 Euclid v Ambler Realty Co. 272 U.S. 465 (1926) Where it all began."— Presentation transcript:

1 Euclid v Ambler Realty Co. 272 U.S. 465 Euclid v Ambler Realty Co. 272 U.S. 465 (1926) Where it all began.

2 2 Euclid

3 3 Euclid 15 miles

4 4 But everybodys doing it! City of New York adopts zoning in 1915City of New York adopts zoning in 1915 Many cities followed New Yorks leadMany cities followed New Yorks lead Federal Government promulgated the Standard State Zoning Enabling Act (SSZEA) in 1926... The same year as Euclid decision.Federal Government promulgated the Standard State Zoning Enabling Act (SSZEA) in 1926... The same year as Euclid decision. Euclid adopting its zoning code in 1922.Euclid adopting its zoning code in 1922. By that time [1922] there were hundreds of zoning codes, ordinances or resolutions.By that time [1922] there were hundreds of zoning codes, ordinances or resolutions.

5 5Background Euclid largely was a farming community in the 1920s, but one that had become connected to Cleveland by inter-urban rail.Euclid largely was a farming community in the 1920s, but one that had become connected to Cleveland by inter-urban rail. Euclid enacted its zoning code in 1922 with 6 use districts:Euclid enacted its zoning code in 1922 with 6 use districts: –U-1, single family detached homes –U-2, U-1 plus duplex units –U-3, U-2 plus apartments –U-4, U-3 plus office & commercial –U-5, U-4 plus warehouses and some manf. –U-6, U-5 plus all other industries.

6 6 This is termed cumulative or Euclidian zoning, meaning that... All more restrictive uses are permitted in the less restricted area, so... –Single family is permitted in all 6 districts –Duplexes are permitted in 5 districts, U-2 thru U-6 –Apartments are permitted in 4 districts, U-3 thru U-6 –Office & Commercial are permitted in 3 districts, U-4, U-5 & U-6. –Limited manufacturing is permitted in 2 districts, U-5 and U-6. –All other activities are only permitted in 1 district, U-6.

7 7 Cumulative Zoning Land Use / District Land Use / District U - 1 U - 1 U - 2 U - 2 U - 3 U - 3 U - 4 U - 4 U - 5 U - 5 U - 6 U - 6 Single Family Single Family Duplex Apartments Office & Commercial Office & Commercial Light Manufacturing Light Manufacturing Unrestricted

8 8 The property.... Ambler Realty Co. owned 68 acres of land in Euclid, Ohio.Ambler Realty Co. owned 68 acres of land in Euclid, Ohio. Purchased in 1911.Purchased in 1911. Euclids zoning code would restrict the property to:Euclids zoning code would restrict the property to: – Industrial development – 60% or 41 acres –Apartments – 6% or 4 acres –Duplex units – 33% or 22 acres Note, none of the property is single family

9 9ConfigurationIndustrial Apartments 2 Family home Rail Road to Cleveland Rail Road to Cleveland R D e e s v i e d l e o n p t e i d a l R D e e s v i e d l e o n p t e i d a l Euclid Avenue 1,800 N

10 10 Impact on the property owner Land as industrialLand as industrial $100,000 per acre (7/2002 = 100) Land as residentialLand as residential $25,000 per acre (7/2002 = 100) Regulated land would be diminished 75% in valueRegulated land would be diminished 75% in value Parcel would diminish in value 29% -- $1,950,000Parcel would diminish in value 29% -- $1,950,000

11 11 The suit 15 property owners joined together in brining the suit15 property owners joined together in brining the suit Newton D. Baker, former Secretary of War and mayor of Cleveland represented the plaintiffs (heavy hitter)Newton D. Baker, former Secretary of War and mayor of Cleveland represented the plaintiffs (heavy hitter) This was a facial attack, arguing that the application of the ordinance would be wrong in every instance because it was a denial of due process.This was a facial attack, arguing that the application of the ordinance would be wrong in every instance because it was a denial of due process.

12 12 Lower Court District Judge David Westenhaven ruled, in January 1924, that the ordinance was an improper use of the Villages police powers and thus unconstitutional.District Judge David Westenhaven ruled, in January 1924, that the ordinance was an improper use of the Villages police powers and thus unconstitutional.

13 13 Appeal City argued that zoning was a form of nuisance control and thus a reasonable exercise of the police power.City argued that zoning was a form of nuisance control and thus a reasonable exercise of the police power. Plaintiff claimed that zoning deprived an owner of property without due process.Plaintiff claimed that zoning deprived an owner of property without due process.

14 14 Opinion by Justice Sutherland Justice George Sutherland, a conservative perhaps best known for his opposition to FDRs new deal.Justice George Sutherland, a conservative perhaps best known for his opposition to FDRs new deal. He swung the court toward Euclid, accepting zoning as a legitimate means of addressing problems arising from the nations growth.He swung the court toward Euclid, accepting zoning as a legitimate means of addressing problems arising from the nations growth.

15 15 Sutherlands observation Until recent years, urban life was comparatively simple;Until recent years, urban life was comparatively simple; but with the great increase and concentration of population, problems have developed, and constantly are developing, but with the great increase and concentration of population, problems have developed, and constantly are developing, which require, and will continue to require, additional restrictions in respect of the use and occupation of private lands in urban communities. which require, and will continue to require, additional restrictions in respect of the use and occupation of private lands in urban communities.

16 16 Whats Southerland talking about? Urban America was on the ascendancyUrban America was on the ascendancy In the 1920 census 50% of nations population were in urbanized areas (2,500 persons or more)In the 1920 census 50% of nations population were in urbanized areas (2,500 persons or more) The problems of urbanization where before society. Ignoring them was not option.The problems of urbanization where before society. Ignoring them was not option. The only question was who would deal with them and under what legal theory.The only question was who would deal with them and under what legal theory.

17 17 Solid waste disposal in New York

18 18

19 19 Chicago traffic -- 1906

20 20 South Chicago – about 1900

21 21 Gerry, Indiana early 20 th

22 22 No one disagreed... The problems were present and someone was going to have to do something.The problems were present and someone was going to have to do something. BUT...BUT... –Should the problems be dealt with on a case by case basis and on the basis of nuisance law OR... –Should communities be allowed to restrict activities in certain areas, presumably to prevent nuisances.

23 23 The ordinance under review... must find [its] justification is some aspect of the police powers.The ordinance under review... must find [its] justification is some aspect of the police powers. A nuisance may be merely a right thing in the wrong place, like a pig in a parlor instead of in the barnyard.A nuisance may be merely a right thing in the wrong place, like a pig in a parlor instead of in the barnyard. If the validity of the legislative classification for zoning purposes be fairly debatable, the legislative judgment must be allowed to control.If the validity of the legislative classification for zoning purposes be fairly debatable, the legislative judgment must be allowed to control. So keeping the pig out of the parlor would be a reasonable thing to do, as distinct from allowing the pig in, and then ejecting it when it acted like a pig.

24 24 And, whats more Apartment houses are often mere parasites, taking advantage of the residential character created by surrounding single-family use. And, one apartment house is followed by another, creating noise, congestion, traffic until the residential character is utterly destroyed.Apartment houses are often mere parasites, taking advantage of the residential character created by surrounding single-family use. And, one apartment house is followed by another, creating noise, congestion, traffic until the residential character is utterly destroyed.

25 25 Exclusion of business will Achieve... Easier provision of fire apparatus Increase safety and security of homelife Prevent street accidents, especially to children Reducing traffic Reducing noise Reducing other conditions that produce or intensify nervous disorders Preserve a more favorable environment in which to raise children

26 26...the exclusion of buildings devoted to business, trade, etc. from residential districts,...the exclusion of buildings devoted to business, trade, etc. from residential districts, bears a rational relationship to the health and safety of the community. bears a rational relationship to the health and safety of the community. Therefore the exclusion of buildings devoted to business, trade, etc. from residential districts would be an exercise of the police power to protect public health, safety etc.Therefore the exclusion of buildings devoted to business, trade, etc. from residential districts would be an exercise of the police power to protect public health, safety etc.

27 27 Facial attack Southerland – [We] determine... that the ordinance in its general scope and dominant features, so far as its provisions are here involved, is a valid exercise of authority, leaving other provisions to be dealt with as cases arise directly involving them.Southerland – [We] determine... that the ordinance in its general scope and dominant features, so far as its provisions are here involved, is a valid exercise of authority, leaving other provisions to be dealt with as cases arise directly involving them. [meaning that other provisions will be dealt with as they are applied in individual cases][meaning that other provisions will be dealt with as they are applied in individual cases]

28 28 The rest of the story The Ambler site remained vacant until World War II, when it was rezoned by the city to industrial as a site for a General Motors aircraft plant.The Ambler site remained vacant until World War II, when it was rezoned by the city to industrial as a site for a General Motors aircraft plant. After the war GM used it as a Fisher body plant, assembling Cadillac bodies.After the war GM used it as a Fisher body plant, assembling Cadillac bodies. In 1994 GM closed the plant – permanentlyIn 1994 GM closed the plant – permanently In 1996 the site sold for $3 million [$44,000 per acre] and is now available for rent.In 1996 the site sold for $3 million [$44,000 per acre] and is now available for rent.

29 29 The Denominator Issue Part I The 68 acre site as Industrial or U–6: –68 acres * $100,000 = $6.8 Million The 68 acre site as U-2, U-3 & U-6: –42 acres * $100,000 = $4.2 Million –4 acres * $25,000 = 0.1 Million –22 acres * $25,000 = 0.55 Million $4.85 Million –Change-$1.95 Million -29%

30 30 What is the extent of diminution? Did the site diminish by 29% in value? Did the regulated property diminish by 75% in value? The answer to both is yes! Which is the relevant measure of harm?

31 31


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