Volume 75, Number 1

April 2000

The Distinction Between Legislative and Adjudicative Decisions in Dolan v. City of Tigard

Inna Reznik

In Dolan v. City of Tigard, the Supreme Court announced a new heightened scrutiny standard for exactions, holding that the exaction must be roughly proportional to the harm the development causes. The Court proceeded to limit the application of the “rough proportionality” standard to adjudicative, and not legislative, land use decisions, reasoning that the risk of municipal “extortion” is much greater in the adjudicative context. In this Note, Inna Reznik surveys the lower courts applying Dolan and finds that there is much confusion over the legislative/adjudicative distinction. She argues that it is difficult to draw a line between legislative and adjudicative land use decisions, and that the distinction does not solve the extortion problem, which is just as likely to occur in the legislative context. Looking to the scholarship of Carol Rose and Vicki Been, the Note concludes that the Court should develop a new exactions standard that identifies those situations with the potential for government overreaching, specifically those in which the landowner has not had the opportunity of voice or exit.