Washington Law Review


In November 1995, Washington voters rejected Initiative 164, a revolutionary property rights law that would have required governmental entities to compensate landowners for any loss in property value due to regulations on land use, unless those regulations were designed to prevent a public nuisance. Despite the initiative's defeat at the polls, a strong property rights movement is likely to prompt legislators to consider implementing a percentage-loss formula for determining when regulators owe compensation to property owners. This Comment discusses the inherent police power of the state to regulate property use in the public interest and argues that percentage-loss laws would violate article 8, sections 5 and 7 of the Washington Constitution, which prohibit the state and municipal corporations from giving gifts to private entities.

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