Land Use Planning

Who decides how the land of our country is used? Is the landowner the decisionmaker, or are others in the community entitled to decide? This course will explore the variety of ways in which legal and non-legal means are used to resolve conflicting land-use claims. Topics will include common law controls; local, regional, and state planning devices; zoning; environmental controls; growth management strategies; aesthetic controls; historic preservation and other cultural property claims; endangered species laws; and others. These issues will be discussed under the over-arching constitutional limits on land-use regulation (asserted under takings, due process, freedom of religion, and free speech theories). Attention will be given to the legal, political, and economic factors involved in our decisionmaking about who should should control the use of land and how it should be done.

Class format will be lecture and discussion. There are no prerequisites. There will be an open-book examination with essay and/or short-answer questions.

Please note that course organization and content may vary substantially from semester to semester and descriptions are not necessarily professor specific. Please contact the instructor directly if you have particular course-related questions.