Wisconsin – No Right To Be Seen: View Of Billboard From Public Road Isn't "Property"

In Adams Outdoor Advertising, LP v. City of Madison, No. 2016AP537 (June 19, 2018), the Wisconsin Supreme Court held that the City's construction of a bridge next to — but not on — property on which Adams maintained a non-conforming billboard, was not a taking.  There didn't seem to be much of a dispute about the economic impact of the bridge on Adams — its appraiser testified the before-and-after delta was $740,000, a more than 50% loss. Adams asserted the bridge blocked drivers' views of the west side of its billboard, and that as a consequence, no one wanted to rent space. The other side of the billboard wasn't affected. Adams brought an inverse condemnation lawsuit. The trial court and the court of appeals agreed with the city that Adams had no claim because it didn't own "property," defined here as an interest in certain views of its billboard from a public road.  The Wisconsin Supreme Court affirmed, holding that under…

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