2006 Initiative Petitions
Approved for Circulation in Missouri

Constitutional Amendment to Article I
Eminent Domain


Be it resolved by the people of the state of Missouri that the Constitution be amended:

Article I, Section 26 of the Missouri Constitution is amended by modifying Section 26. The existing Section 26 is set forth with deleted matter in brackets and new matter underlined as follows:

(1) That private property shall not be taken, nor shall the existing rights to use, sell or possess private property be encumbered nor the property [or] damaged for public use without just compensation. Such compensation shall be ascertained by a jury or board of commissioners of not less than three freeholders, in such manner as may be provided by law; and until the same shall be paid to the owner, or into court for the owner, the property shall not be disturbed or the proprietary rights of the owner therein divested. The fee of land taken for railroad purposes without consent of the owner thereof shall remain in such owner subject to the use for which it was taken.

(2) Private property shall not be taken nor shall the existing rights to use, sell or possess private property be encumbered nor the property damaged if, at the time of such taking or interference, the public body taking such action, or its designee, intends to convey any interest in the property to a private party. This subsection shall not apply to:

(a) The condemnation of improved or unimproved property that constitutes a danger to the safety and health of the community by reason of established use of the property for distribution of illegal narcotics or an existing condition of the property which is a common law nuisance condition that impairs the use, enjoyment or value of adjoining property; or,

(b) Property necessary for transportation, cable television and telecommunication transmission facilities and utility facilities or transmission systems operated by a regulated utility, rural electric cooperative or railroad; or,

(c) Conveyances by a public body of interests less than fee title to a privately owned business for the incidental provision of retail services in a public facility designed primarily to serve the patrons of the public facility; or,

(d) Private ways or easements of necessity as provided for in Section 28 hereof.

(3) Notwithstanding Article 1, Section 28 or any other provision this Constitution, Public Use of property shall not include the redevelopment of property by a non-government entity for any commercial use, other than as expressly provided above in subsection 2.

(4) In addition to any right of compensation provided in the aforementioned provisions of this section, if the right to use, possess, sell or improve any private property is impaired by any land use regulation or statute enacted after October 7, 2006 and the date upon which the owner acquires their record title in the property, and such law or regulation reduces the fair market value of the property, the owner shall be entitled to just compensation for the reduction in the fair market value of such property under this section as a regulatory taking.

(a) An owner of real property affected by a regulatory taking under this section shall not be required to first submit an application to remove, modify, vary or otherwise alter the land use regulation or statute as a prerequisite to filing a claim for just compensation. An affected owner may make a written demand for just compensation to the public body enacting the land use regulation or statute up to four years from the effective date of any such law or regulation damaging private property. If said public body does not provide the just compensation, permanent recorded notice of the abandonment of the taking, or other relief acceptable to the property owner within 120 days after receipt of a written demand, the owner shall have a cause of action for just compensation, and shall be entitled to attorney fees, costs, and expenses incurred in the prosecution of the action.

(b) An owner of real property affected by a regulatory taking under this section may seek just compensation, alternative to the remedies provided in subsection (4)(a), by the application for a permit to use or develop property in a manner consistent with the permissible uses of the property in existence on October 7, 2006 or the date upon which the owner acquired their record title in the property, whichever is later. If such permit for use is not granted within six months of application, the owner shall have a claim for full just compensation without being required to further exhaust any administrative remedies. A claim for compensation under this subsection shall accrue when:

(i) administrative relief from the relevant regulation has been sought and denied; or,

(ii) the six month period for obtaining such administrative relief has run without the granting of permanent administrative relief.

(c) For purposes of this subsection, the "date upon which the owner acquires their record title in the property", in the case of property held by lineal descendents of a property owner and acquired by such descendents through devise or by gift (even if held under different legal title) shall be the date their predecessor in interest from whom they acquired the property acquired record title to the property.

(5) Section 4 shall not apply to any law or regulation adopted to protect the public's health and safety or to limit or prohibit a use of property recognized to be a criminal activity or a nuisance under common law.

(6) For purposes of this section, "land use regulation or statute" includes any state statute, agency rule, or local or municipal ordinance or law regulating the use of land or any interest therein, or regulating accepted farming and forest practices, provided, however, "land use regulation or statute" shall not include laws regulating criminal drug sale or use, pornography and obscenity, gambling or gaming regulation, liquor regulation or housing for convicted or paroled felons.

(7) If any portion or portions of this amendment are declared invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction, the remaining portions of this amendment shall remain in full force and effect. Notwithstanding any other provision of this Article, this Section shall be effective as of February 8, 2006 and shall apply to any condemnation action commenced after that date.