Planning, Zoning and Community Development

Planning, Zoning and Community Development


"Not in my backyard!" It's a common sentiment echoing through standing room only town meetings across the nation. From siting locally unwanted land uses including religious land uses, cell towers and power plants, to routine land use disputes, planning and zoning issues have become a legal and political hotbed for municipalities.

When local governments find themselves at a standstill, with no solutions in sight, the Government Law Center offers a neutral, non-partisan approach to the problem solving process. The GLC provides the leading edge in a wide variety of areas including:

Development of local laws​

Review of draft zoning law​s and​ comp​rehensive plans

Customized training on specific legal challenges facing communities including: adult uses; religious land uses; siting of wind farms; regulating home occupations; sign regulations; ethics; smart growth strategies; d​​isaster mitigation strategies; public participation in land use decision making; eminent domain; environmental justice; and mediation of land use disputes

The Center has worked with legal and planning consultants across the country to assist local governments in meeting their needs. GLC staff have published groundbreaking works in the planning and zoning field, at both state and national levels. The GLC is committed to providing innovative services to local and regional governments in order to meet growing challenges.

Alternative Energy and Green Development: Le​ading the Way​​

The Center has a long record of research and education in the intersection of land use planning and climate change issues. The Center has conducted research and published studies and articles on siting of wind farms and green development, and together with other Albany Law School constituencies, the Center has hosted two statewide conferences on global warming and climate change. The Center has served as a resource to governments and the community at large who have desired information on innovative strategies to promote more green development.

Staying Informed

The rapidly changing world of planning and zoning issues, particularly in the areas of religious land uses, alternative energy and telecommunications issues, continues to create a plethora of new challenges for local governments. As a result, local government officials are looking for guidance and solutions. The GLC's special understanding of planning and zoning, combined with our familiarity with the workings of state and local government, allows us to provide the professional support necessary to meet these challenges.

Because the "hot" issues connected with planning and zoning laws are constantly changing, it is crucial that municipalities keep current on trend and opportunities. We host conferences, conduct on-site training programs and offer online resources via our Government Law Online Clearinghouse at

Success Stories

Environmental Justice

Cell Tower Citing​