Land Use Law

illustration by Paul Hoffman

An understanding of basic land use law principles is essential to the job of the planner — and planning commissioner.

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illustration of a man's vest

Vested Rights

What happens when a developer files for a building permit or submits a subdivision application — and the local government then changes its ordinance in a way that would prohibit the project as proposed? A look at the complex issue of “vested rights.”

Stop watch that says "Time to Restart"

Hitting the Restart Button

With the start of an economic recovery in much of the country, developers in many communities face the question of how to restart projects that have lied fallow or failed as a result of the great recession. A look at some of the legal issues involved.

Planning ABC's illustration

I is for Inclusionary

By the early 20th century, newly adopted land use zoning controls not only physically separated industrial, commercial, and residential zones, but also by distinguished between single-family and multi-family residential zones. It was not until 1970s that the movement toward inclusionary housing began to emerge.

Planning ABC's illustration

J is for Justice

The Supreme Court decision of the 20th century that had the greatest impact on planned community development was the 1926 Euclid v. Ambler ruling. It opened the door for communities across the country to engage in zoning and use it as the primary tool for plan implementation.