The Supreme Court yesterday agreed to hear a property rights case that could reopen the question of when land-use regulations become so burdensome as to constitute a takings of private property that must be compensated by taxpayers. In the case, a developer from Westerly, R.I., Anthony Palazzolo, was prevented from building 74 houses on an 18-acre salt marsh that had been designated a protected area by the state in the 1960s. Even though the limits on development predated his acquisition of the property, Palazzolo contends they still amounted to a takings and he therefore deserves to be compensated by the state.

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