Land Use Law

Academic Year

This course will provide an understanding of the legal and administrative tools that local governments employ in regulating land use. Land use law involves the interests of developers, environmentalists, homeowners, interest groups and other political actors, all of whom participate in creating the character of a particular community. This course will focus on actual and simulated case studies to identify the often-contentious politics of urban growth. We will cover basic legal structure of the decision making process relating to the constitutional limitations on development, environmental controls on land use, zoning and planning, the impacts of development on public infrastructure and smart growth responses, and environmental justice. Because politics, economics and social norms play critical roles in the development of land, we will also examine the different, often diverging influences of land use patterns.