Palazzolo remand

September 26th, 2009 by Joseph William Singer

On remand, the Rhode Island trial court found that development of Palazzolo’s salt marsh land south of a shallow, tidal pond would constitute a public nuisance because it would inhibit the “valuable filtering system regarding water runoff containing pollutants and nitrogen from adjacent land.”  Palazzolo v. State, 2005 WL 1645974, at*3 (R.I. Super. Ct. 2005). The court also found that half of theproperty was below the mean high water line, making it tidal land subject to the public trust doctrine which defines such lands as owned by the public and not subject to private development at all. Finally,the court found that, although one upland site could be developed,almost none lower lots could ever have been profitably developed because of the extraordinary engineering costs involved in draining thesite and preparing the site to support structures. Thus, there was notaking of property.

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