On September 8, 2011, John Barth purchased a piece of property at 4 Lynn Street in Peabody, Massachusetts, for $1,000. Barth subsequently requested from the City of Peabody a variance to exempt his property from the local zoning ordinance. The City of Peabody’s Zoning Board of Appeals held a public hearing and later voted to deny the variance.
Following the refusal, Barth filed a pro se complaint alleging 23 “violations of law.” Of the many claims Barth made, he specifically argued that the denial of his zoning variance request constituted a violation of the Fifth Amendment’s Taking Clause. Barth contended that the denial amounted to a taking because it deprived him of the use and enjoyment of the land. Do you think the denial of the variance could legally be considered a taking?

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