Published: Nov 03, 2011 5:52 PM EDT

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Government agencies that deny development permits cannot be made to pay for "taking" property in Florida just because negotiations over conditions attached to those permits fail.
    
That's what the Florida Supreme Court said in a ruling Thursday.
    
The justices reversed lower court orders for the St. Johns River Water Management District to compensate a property owner $376,155 for a temporary taking of his land.
    
The high court noted the water management district never actually received any real estate.
    
The justices said affirming the compensation award would have set a precedent that would have made land use regulation prohibitively expensive. They said it also would have halted development in some areas.
    
The case involved a small plot of land near the East-West Expressway in Orange County.

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