Under the banner of protecting property rights, a number of states have passed laws requiring compensation if land use regulations lower owners' property value. This slogan ignores the fact that regulation of one person's property often increases the value of neighboring property including public interests in the environment. For example, a regulation restricting building on coastal shorelines may prevent some owner from putting up an intensive development and thereby make his parcel less valuable, but it may protect the shoreline from erosion and losses to other owners. The issue is which owners count.
The voters of Oregon passed a 2004 law allowing owners to seek compensation if state and local regulations reduced their property values. Voters probably had in mind individuals who wanted to build a house on their property, but it was widely used for large housing projects, strip malls, and landfills.
The voters thought again, and in Novemeber, 2007, approved a law preserving a landowner's right to build homes, but curbs large commercial and industrial development. A coalition of farmers, business groups, and conservation groups such as the Nature Conservancy spent $4.5 million to support the new law. These coalitions are hard to put together as many are tempted to be free riders, as the results of the campaign are available to all whether or not they have contributed (a high exclusion cost good).
Source: Nature Conservancy, Spring, 2008.