Terry Goddard (D)

PHOENIX, Ariz. (Legal Newsline) -It's legal for Arizona to require paving of some parking lots and driveways without compensation to the property owner, state Attorney General Terry Goddard said in a legal opinion.

The Democratic attorney general said in an opinion issued late last week that requiring the paving of some parking lots and driveways does not amount to an illegal taking under the state or U.S. constitutions.

The 2006 law aimed at curbing air pollution also does not run roughshod over a ballot measure, which passed the same year that bars the state and local governments from taking actions that would reduce private property values without providing just compensation, Goddard said.

Essentially, the state constitutional amendment says government entities must pay landowners when new rules or regulations reduce the value of their property.

In his legal opinion, Goddard said there is an exception in the property rights law for steps taken for public health and pollution control reasons.

"The requirement to pave or stabilize the driveways and parking areas of a parcel of land to improve the public's air quality presumably would not substantially preclude a property's intended use," Goddard wrote.

The attorney general's opinion was sought by state Sen. Carolyn Allen, R-Scottsdale, the author of the air pollution law.

From Legal Newsline: Reach reporter Chris Rizo at chrisrizo@legalnewsline.com.

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