- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 13, 2016

FALMOUTH, Mass. (AP) - A Massachusetts town has been ordered to pay a Florida woman nearly $1 million after jurors determined her coastal property lost more than 90 percent of its value because of wetlands protection laws and the town’s refusal to grant her a variance.

The Cape Cod Times reports (https://bit.ly/2gVGh1B ) jurors last week concluded laws created in 2008 that established “no disturbance” zones near salt marshes and coastal banks prevented Janice Smyth from building a home on her Cape Cod property.

Smyth’s parents bought the property in Falmouth (FAL’-muth) in 1975. It’s classified as buildable and is valued at $700,000. It would be valued at $60,000 if it weren’t buildable.

Jurors concluded the town’s actions constituted a regulatory taking of the property.

Town Counsel Frank Duffy couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

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Information from: Cape Cod (Mass.) Times, https://www.capecodtimes.com

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