Property Owner Entitled to Compensation for Substantial Value Decrease from Zoning

Minnesota case law summary by Attorney Richard Clem: zoning, compensation.

DeCook v. Rochester International Airport Joint Zoning Board. MN zoning, compensation

In 2002, by ordinance, Zoning Board modified the "Safety Zone" adjoining the airport. It increased the size of the zone, and changed the ordinance to allow fewer uses for property within the zone. For example, part of the adjoining property could have no structures of any kind. The jury concluded that this ordinance diminished the value of the adjoining property by $170,000.

Plaintiff brought an inverse condemnation action under the Takings clause of the Minnesota Constitution, seeking compensation for the diminution in value. The Supreme Court held that plaintiff was entitled to compensation, since the diminution in value was "substantial". While this determination "is highly fact specific, depending on the particular circumstances underlying" the case, there was a taking under these facts.

No. A09-969 (Minn. Mar. 30, 2011).

Please see the original opinion for the court's exact language.


Richard P. Clem is an attorney and continuing legal education (CLE) provider in Minnesota. He has been in private practice in the Twin Cities for 25 years. He has a J.D., cum laude, from Hamline University School of Law in St. Paul and a B.A. in History from the University of Minnesota. His reported cases include: Asociacion Nacional de Pescadores a Pequena Escala o Artesanales de Colombia v. Dow Quimica de Colombia, 988 F.2d 559, rehearing denied, 5 F.3d 530 (5th Cir. 1993), cert. denied, 510 U.S. 1041 (1994); LaMott v. Apple Valley Health Care Center, 465 N.W.2d 585 (Minn. Ct. App. 1991); Abo el Ela v. State, 468 N.W.2d 580 (Minn. Ct. App. 1991).

For more information about attorney Clem, please visit his website.
For more information about his low-cost CLE programs, please visit his CLE page.
Return to index of case summaries

Copyright 2014, Richard P. Clem.
Attorney Richard P. Clem is responsible for the content of this page.

Richard P. Clem, Attorney
PO Box 14957
Minneapolis, MN 55414
Phone: +1-612-378-7751
Minnesota Attorney Registration Number 0192648

Books by Richard Clem:

Please visit my author page at

Copyright and privacy notice.