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Attorney General Lockyer Praises Supreme Court Ruling Balancing Property Rights, Environmental Protections for Sierra Nevada's Crown Jewel of Lake Tahoe

Wednesday, April 24, 2002
Contact: (415) 703-5837

(SACRAMENTO) – Attorney General Bill Lockyer, who defended the right of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and the State of California to impose temporary land-use bans to protect Lake Tahoe, called the U.S. Supreme Court's 6-3 ruling Tuesday "the first unconditional win in a regulatory takings case in over a decade." The ruling came in Tahoe-Sierra Preservation v. Tahoe Regional Planning Agency. The Attorney General added:

"The Supreme Court's decision represents a major victory for Lake Tahoe, for sound planning practices and for the future of police power measures necessary to protect public health and safety.

"In the case, the high court has struck a thoughtful, fair balance between legitimate private property rights and an essential level of environmental protection for Lake Tahoe.

"Over the past quarter century, taxpayers have spent over a third of a billion dollars to purchase environmentally-sensitive lands in the Lake Tahoe Basin from willing sellers, and to address the damage caused by past, ill-conceived development in the Basin. The Supreme Court's decision simply insures that the public will not be required to pay still more to preclude development at Lake Tahoe that all concede would do further damage to this priceless environmental resource."

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