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Penn Central Transportation Company v. New York City
The Owner of Grand Central Terminal in NYC wanted to construct a 55 story tower on top of the terminal, which is a landmarked building. The local historic preservation office did not approve this, deciding that it would be incompatible with the historic features of the building. The Supreme Court ruled that preventing the construction was a reasonable restriction that was substantially related to the welfare of the city and did not constitute a complete taking since the city never said that no building could be built in the future.
U.S. v. Gettysburg Electric Railway Company
Congress had passed an act that included the protection of the Gettysburg battlefield and preservation of the battle lines, with accompanying markers. Around that time, the Railway Company claimed to own a small tract of land across the battlefield that it planned to build a trolley service on. A further act of Congress authorized the acquisition of lands contained within the battlefield, such as the one owned by the railway. Pursuant to this act, the U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania filed a petition on behalf of the U.S. to condemn the land to achieve the preservation purposes of Congress. A price could not be agreed upon by the two parties. The Supreme Court was tasked with deciding whether the U.S. was authorized to condemn the land for its stated purpose. The Court decided that this was a public purpose and that the U.S. had the constitutional power to condemn the land.
Citizens to Preserve Overton Park v. Volpe
The citizens' organization brought an action for an injunction to keep the Secretary of Transportation from releasing money to a state highway department to construct an expressway through the public park. The Supreme Court held that the case was subject to judicial review under the Administrative Procedure Act; the reviewing court must perform a substantial inquiry to see if the Secretary acted within his authority; that he could reasonably believe there were no alternatives to the proposed action; that he did not act arbitrarily or capriciously; and that proper agency procedures were followed.