3The U.S. Supreme Court agreed, and held that a physical invasion of even one cubic foot
(the approximate amount of space in the landlord’s building occupied by the cable com
pany) wasa taking that required payment of just compensation.Zoning laws that prohibit or restrict specified activities on land within a town do notresult in a physical occupation of the land. For this reason, the
style taking claim (actualphysical occupation) does not apply to local zoning laws and should not be a concern to townboards.2) Total TakingWhen government regulation deprives the owner of all economically beneficial use of theproperty, so that the owner cannot do anything with the property other than own it, there is a
taking. This is referred to as a “total” taking. An example of a total taking was
Lucas v. SouthCarolina Coastal Council
, the property owner purchased two beach-front parcels, intending to build ahome on each one. However a coastal protection statute, that was passed after the ownerpurchased the land, prevented the owner from building any permanent habitable structure on theland.
The U.S. Supreme Court found that this was the “rare” case where a regulation deprived
an owner of all economically beneficial use of the property, and was therefore a taking for whichcompensation was required. Because the taking was a total deprivation of all economically viableuses of the land, compensation was required regardless of whether the public interest waspromoted by the regulation.
A “total” taking would
not apply to a town zoning law that completely bans subsurfacedrilling or mining, because it still leaves the owner the ability to make money from other uses of