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Shipman & Goodwin's Land Use Team Prevails in Minnesota Case

Kottschade v. City of Rochester, Minnesota

Represented developer Franklin Kottschade and the National Association of Home Builders in the Minnesota Court of Appeals on an important procedural issue in federal takings law. In 2000, Mr. Kottschade applied to the City of Rochester for approval of a residential condominium. The City approved the application but imposed nine conditions, including that Kottschade dedicate a portion of his land to the public to support the widening of a regional highway, and pay a so-called "impact fee" for the road upgrade. The land dedication and the impact fee made it impossible for Kottaschade to proceed with the development, and he sued in federal court for an unconstitutional taking. In 2003 the federal court dismissed the case, holding that he should have filed in state court. In December 2006, Kottschade refiled his taking claim in state court. The City then claimed that his state court claim was barred by the six year statute of limitations, because the limitation period started to run when the City first imposed the conditions in July 2000, not when Kottschade's application for a variance of those conditions was denied in January 2001. A Minnesota trial court in 2007 agreed with the City, dismissing Kottschade's claim. The Minnesota Court of Appeals reversed, holding that Kottschade's refiling in state court in 2006 was timely. The Court of Appeals remanded to the trial court for a trial on the merits of Kottschade's federal Fifth Amendment Takings Clause claim. In 2014 the property owner was advised on potential federal civil rights claims.

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