‘SHAKEDOWN’ BY FEDS? Man’s Decades-Long Land Battle Lands in High Court

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A land battle that has been raging for nearly two decades landed Tuesday at the Supreme Court, which will decide whether the government went too far in regulating a development in Florida.

Coy Koontz in the 1970s bought a parcel of land, the majority of which later was classified a wetland. When he sought a permit to develop a portion of it in the 1990s, the Florida agency in charge of the area said Koontz would need to take steps to remediate the damage he would cause.

Koontz offered to give the agency 11 of the 15 acres, in exchange for a permit to develop the remaining land. In addition, the state government said he would need to undertake other improvements. Options ranged from numerous changes to the original plot to paying for enhancement of 50 government-owned acres miles away from the Koontz plot.

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