Thursday, April 21, 2016

New from ELI Press: Contemporary Issues in Climate Change Law and Policy: Essays Inspired by the IPCC (Craig & Miller, eds.)

I am delighted to announce that, just in time Earth Day this year, is the publication of a new book of essays, Contemporary Issues in Climate Change Law and Policy:  Essays Inspired by the IPCC, which I co-edited with Robin Craig (Utah).  The essays resulted from the second meeting of the Environmental Law Collaborative in Jackson, Wyoming, in August, 2014, which also resulted in a series of shorter essays, A Response to the IPCC Fifth Assessment, freely available here and published in the Environmental Law Reporter.  

The collection has a tremendous range that results from the varied interests and talents of the contributors, which included, in order of publication in the book:  Robin Kundis Craig;   John C. Dernbach; Keith Hirokawa; Jonathan Rosenbloom; Jessica Owley; David Takacs; Stephen R. Miller; Sarah J. Adams-Schoen; Cinnamon Pinon Carlarne; Katrina Fischer Kuh; Shannon Roesler; and Inara Scott.

Here is the book blurb and review:


The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s most recent set of reports, generally referred to collectively as the Fifth Assessment Report, present significant data and findings about climate change. But what role does law play in addressing and responding to these findings? This book, the second by the Environmental Law Collaborative, an affiliation of environmental law professors, focuses on the relationship between law and the Fifth Assessment Report in hopes of bridging this gap. This book’s chapters are illustrative of the overwhelming number of legal issues that climate change creates. Some of the contributions remain directly tied to the text of the IPCC’s reports, while others focus on climate change more generally. Together, this volume contributes to a constructive and helpful discussion about how to address the climate change challenge.

Book Reviews

The Environmental Law Collaborative has once again produced a volume of contributions on a theme of vital importance. Contemporary Issues in Climate Change Law and Policy uses the IPCC’s latest round of reports as the lens through which to assess the progress and trajectory of law for climate change mitigation and adaptation. The result is a collection of chapters that are remarkably diverse in coverage yet coherent and intent in focus. Topics span the waterfront from national security and water infrastructure to religious perspectives and local community action. Each chapter stands on its own as thorough, insightful, and engaging, as well as a bountiful resource of law and policy update and analysis. Unified in the book through its core theme, the authors provide much to be gained for everyone from a newcomer to the rough and tumble of climate policy to those already steeped in its discourse.

—J.B. Ruhl, David Daniels Allen Distinguished Chair of Law, Vanderbilt University Law School




April 21, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Schleicher on how land use law impedes transportation innovation

Somewhat apropos of my rant earlier this week about the failure of the Bay Area to take advantage of its transportation infrastructure, David Schleicher (Yale) has a new paper out, "How Land Use Law Impedes Transportation Innovation."  Here is the abstract:

A certain breed of economists and techno-futurists regularly point to the potential for innovation in the transportation sector to spur economic growth. Such predictions, however, often fail to discuss why transportation innovation in the past was so central to economic changes. Innovations like the automobile or the elevator did not make it (much) easier to travel between and among existing homes, stores and offices. After all, existing developments had been built around previous technologies for moving people around, whether it was the streetcar suburb or the walk-up apartment building. Instead, most of the gains from new transportation technologies come from being able to move our homes, offices, and stores into more pleasing and efficient patterns. That is, to get the benefits from transportation technologies, we must change land use patterns.

But land uses in our cities and metropolitan areas do not simply follow changes market demand or technological progress. Laws and regulations from zoning codes to subdivision requirements to historic preservation limit the forms, densities, and uses of buildings. In order to understand the potential transportation technologies have to produce economic growth, we have to consider both how they will affect optimal land uses and whether the changes they suggest will be allowed and encouraged by local and state land use regulators. This Chapter will assess how well modern land use law has or might accommodate three major recent or soon-to-arrive transportation innovations: (1) Global Positioning Systems (GPS), mobile mapping, and real-time traffic information services (e.g. Google Maps, Apple Maps, TomTom, Garmin, and Waze); (2) e-hailing apps for taxis, shared rides, and shuttles (like Uber, Lyft, and their competitors); and (3) still-developing self-driving autonomous cars. 

These technological innovations should allow two types of changes to land use patterns. First, they allow “distributed density” within urban areas. Each technology should allow for greater overall density in cities without requiring as much extreme density. These technologies permit nodes of extreme density of uses (e.g., stores along a high street, or tall apartments within a quarter of a mile of train station) to spread a bit further without losing the gains of agglomeration. Second, the innovations will allow development on the edges of metropolitan areas, as they – particularly GPS and potentially autonomous cars – reduce the costs of travelling substantial distances, both in time and in effort.

Land use law does not equally permit these types of development. While building on the edge of metropolitan areas is generally easy in the United States, land use law and politics is particularly ill-equipped to produce distributed density. Its deep procedural rules and the multiple ways current residents can block new construction make incremental housing growth – building the “missing middle” of the U.S. housing market – particularly difficult. The extreme separation of uses common in zoning in the U.S. makes distributing retail or commercial development difficult as well. Unless zoning procedure and policy is reformed, many of the gains from these technologies will not be realized. Further, by failing to accommodate distributed density, cities will bias how technologists develop products, reducing the potential for economic growth. The Chapter concludes with some thoughts on how land use procedure and policy could be reformed and how transportation technologists might play a role.

April 21, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

A "modest proposal" for solving the Bay Area's housing problems

The endless stream of articles about housing pressures in the Bay Area may have reached a zenith in this Sunday's NY Times' article, "In Cramped and Costly Bay Area, Cries to Build, Baby, Build."  Sadly, the story focuses on a self-described "anarchist" who now fights NIMBYs and who (sigh) seems to think that the City of San Francisco--a tiny 7 x 7 mile enclave in the larger Bay Area--can somehow resolve the housing crisis for the region.  

But it got me thinking, again, about the Bay Area.  One thing that people seldom mention in any of these stories about housing there is how underbuilt the areas around BART stations are.  In far too many locations, the BART station is built right next to a superstore parking lot, or some other land use that does not take advantage of BART's immensely expensive transit infrastructure.  So here is my "modest proposal" for the Bay Area:  build 5,000 units of housing around each BART station at a higher density of your choice...say, Paris or even downtown San Francisco.  By my count, there are approximately 30 stations where dense, transit villages could be built.  With 5,000 units at 30 stations, we would be talking 150,000 units, sufficient to house approximately 380,000 persons by current household size (2.54 persons) standards--that would be connected by rail to the entire Bay Area.  

Like most western cities, the Bay Area is far underbuilt for the number of people that want to move west.  That's not the Bay Area's fault, but not properly utilizing the space around the BART stations does fall at the feet of the Bay Area's local governments.

Of course, here is why this is a "modest proposal" in the Swiftian sense; this proposal would almost certainly require the use of eminent domain, the "third rail" of land use policy.  As such, a proposal like this is probably politically dead before it could ever really get going:  the libertarians would call in PLF and talk about how it was tantamount to shredding the Constitution; the NIMBYs would hire someone to challenge the CEQA review; and it would be one enormous, litigious mess.

Or would it?  If you were going to house 380,000 people in the Bay Area with one simple plan, where else would you put them?  Is land use law in the U.S. so broken that a proposal that is so intuitively obvious never is mentioned, and instead the coverage of the issue resorts to an anarchist whose group goes by the acronym "BARF"?



April 19, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Monday, April 18, 2016

Zoning’s Centennial, Part 15: Zoning In Solar and Clean Energy: A Series by John R. Nolon

Part 15

Zoning’s Centennial

John R. Nolon

Distinguished Professor of Law, Pace Law School

Counsel, Land Use Law Center

Zoning In Solar and Clean Energy


As zoning turns 100, it is showing its age by its exclusion of modern clean energy systems in many communities. It is also demonstrating its historical resiliency, as more and more progressive communities act to reform zoning to permit, require, and incentivize renewable and clean energy facilities. These rapidly evolving systems include building integrated solar systems, ground- and roof-mounted solar arrays, large- and small-scale wind generation, multi-building combined heat and power facilities, microgrids, on-site electricity generation, and geothermal systems.

For clean energy systems to be constructed, they must be permitted by local zoning and not subject to expensive regulatory barriers that discourage their use and increase their cost. Promoting clean energy systems under local land use regulations is one of the latest efforts on the part of local governments to mitigate climate change, which, in the aggregate, are most impressive.

It is an uphill battle. By analyzing the comprehensive plans and zoning codes of most local governments, it is evident that regulatory barriers to clean energy systems are ubiquitous. These range from the simple failure to define and permit clean energy systems, to excessive height and setback restrictions, to additional or outdated permitting requirements—which greatly increase the costs of systems or discourage their use due to the unpredictability or length and costs of the approval process. The battle is being fought first on the solar front, given the popularity, improved technology, and reduced costs of solar energy systems. 

Although both the federal and state levels of government have a strong interest in encouraging the deployment of renewable energy systems, the power to permit solar energy systems under land use law has been delegated by most states to local villages, towns, and cities. Most states are not willing to preempt local control of solar and other clean energy systems; as a result, it is state policy to defer to local discretion in these matters, allowing local policymakers to determine the types of solar and other clean energy systems that will be deployed in the state.

Local officials who want to encourage solar energy systems are adjusting the local land use system by first adding a solar energy component to the comprehensive plan or adopting a special solar energy policy or plan to guide the reform of land use regulations. These local governments are then amending zoning regulations to permit and encourage these systems.

The primary, and most common, barrier to solar energy system implementation occurs when solar energy systems are neither defined nor permitted in one or more zoning districts. Without explicit definitions of solar facilities, they cannot be permitted by reference in the district use provisions of local zoning. In addition, the lack of clear clean energy- or solar-related definitions misses the opportunity for municipalities to send a signal to developers, property owners, and installers that they are "open for clean energy business." Municipalities are beginning to fix this problem by amending their zoning code to include definitions of the different solar energy systems available, based on type, size, and/or energy capacity.

Municipalities chose to permit solar energy systems by designating them as principal, accessory, secondary, or specially permitted uses. They are subjecting them to modified and expedited site plan review, waiving design standards enforced by local Architectural Review Boards, and providing exemptions from Historic District Review standards for conforming designs and proper locations.

Solar easements, not recognized by common law in most states, can be created by local government regulation to ensure access to sunlight over the life of the solar system. Typically, these regulations require written and recorded solar easements that define easement dimensions, how the easement will terminate, and compensation for easement maintenance or interference, among other provisions.

Some localities are requiring developers to install solar energy systems or, short of that, make buildings solar ready. Other communities incentivize, rather that require, these solar facilities, typically by providing density bonuses for solar panels, solar readiness, and solar access easements.

The process for zoning to allow other forms of clean energy follows the pattern set by zoning for solar. First, local comprehensive plans should set forth as a goal furthering clean energy facilities; next, zoning should define each of these clean energy technologies; and finally, district use regulations should be amended to permit them in appropriate locations at appropriate scales. The processes used to regulate and approve such facilities should be streamlined as fully and prudently as possible.

There is a clear need for municipal attorneys, local land use leaders, and state agencies interested in reducing energy costs and harmful fossil fuel emissions to develop model laws and approval processes for all clean energy facilities, in order to further the important objectives that they accomplish. These will all aid zoning in its adaptation to meet yet another contemporary challenge.

For more information, see John R. Nolon, Mitigating Climate Change by Zoning for Solar Energy Systems: Embracing Clean Energy Technology in Zoning’s Centennial Year, Zoning and Planning Law Report (Dec. 2015).

Links to previous posts in the Zoning Centennial’s Series:

Part 1: The Need for Public Regulation of Land Use – The First Comprehensive Zoning Law

Part 2:  The Delegation of Legal Authority To Adopt Zoning

Part 3: Zoning Was Contagious, But Was It Constitutional?

Part 4: The Unintended Consequences of Euclidean Zoning

Part 5: The Most Appropriate Use of the Land

Part 6: The Surprising Origins of Smart Growth

Part 7: The Advent of Local Environmental Law

Part 8: Regionalism and ‘Wistful Hoping’

Part 9: Mixed Signals: Exclusionary Zoning and Fairness

Part 10: The Emergence of the Law of Sustainable Development

Part 11: Designing Density

Part 12: Green Infrastructure

Part 12B: Land Use and Energy Conservation

Part 14: Transit Oriented Development

April 18, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, April 11, 2016

Zoning’s Centennial, Part 14: Transit Oriented Development: A Series by John R. Nolon

Part 14

Zoning’s Centennial

John R. Nolon

Distinguished Professor of Law, Pace Law School

Counsel, Land Use Law Center

Transit Oriented Development

Transit Oriented Development, or TOD, is a modern zoning imperative with exceptional potential to reduce GHG emissions. According to the Presidential Climate Action Project, “[t]he greatest potential for reducing greenhouse gas emissions…is to reduce vehicle miles traveled—the miles Americans drive each year.”

TOD land use plans and zoning encourage mixed use, compact development in transit neighborhoods. They locate housing and jobs near transit stops and significantly reduce the number and distance of vehicle trips. Encouraging land use patterns that house and employ more people in urban, transit-connected areas will cause a significant reduction in VMT, while placing households in smaller, more energy efficient homes and offices will further reduce fossil fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

Transportation Efficient Development, or TED, is TOD’s country cousin. TOD and TED have many relatives. They bracket a profusion of terms that describe the rapidly increasing focus on reducing VMT through zoning. The terminology used is varied. Some authors write about “transit supportive” or “transit ready” development, or “transportation efficient” land use patterns. Others refer to “transit friendly zoning,” “station area planning,” “transportation demand management,” “traditional neighborhood development,” “planned unit development,” “development-oriented transit,” “transit supportive urban design,” “transit station communities,” “transit focused development,” and “transit villages.”

These terms encompass many different geographical contexts, populations, densities, and transportation modalities. Any attempt to describe a single approach is subject to a host of exceptions, but some common principles can be articulated to highlight the legal underpinnings of this important subject and to explain why zoning matters.

When neighorhood density is increased for both residential and commercial uses, the distance between origin and destination is shorter and walking, bicycling, and mass transit services are more feasible. In order for increased densities to be tolerated, standards requiring attractive building, landscape, and streetscape design must be employed.

The successful development of transit stations and rail and bus lines is dependent upon land use densities and mixed uses. There must be a large enough number of commuters in a relevant area to provide a base level of ridership. In addition, ridership must be sufficiently diverse to ensure that people are traveling to work, to shop, to seek entertainment, and to go home at various times during the day, thereby increasing the cost efficiency of the transit system.

Local land use plans and zoning, which determine population density and building uses, control how much the population will increase over time in a certain area, and what transportation needs new people will have. This, in turn, dictates the demand for various types of transportation services. Locally, this planning is done at the neighborhood level and should be guided by objectives contained in the city’s comprehensive plan. To make transit systems feasible, land use planning among localities in a transportation region must be coordinated with transportation planning and development, which occurs under federal programs in urban areas at the metropolitan-area scale.

Many state enabling statutes require or encourage local governments to include a transportation element in their comprehensive plans. Increasingly, these transportation elements have incorporated planning strategies intended to encourage people to drive less and to walk, bicycle, and use mass transportation more frequently.

Arizona’s planning enabling statute, for example, requires cities with more than 50,000 people to prepare a bike transportation element as part of their comprehensive plan. Nevada’s enabling legislation supports planning for mass transit, bicycle, and pedestrian infrastructure. This statute encourages local planning to include a transit element that “[s]how[s] a proposed multimodal system of transit lines, including mass transit, streetcar, motorcoach and trolley coach lines, paths for bicycles and pedestrians, satellite parking and related facilities.”

Even where communities are not currently served by transit systems, they can create compact, mixed use neighborhoods that reduce car trips and miles traveled. Zoning controls in TED zones can limit the size of housing units and combine retail, office, and residential land uses, putting services, shops, and jobs in closer proximity to homes. Zoning can also require new construction to meet energy standards and further reduce GHG emissions.

Communities not yet served by transit can design one or more priority growth districts and create overlay zones for them that allow greater densities and more land uses than permitted in the underlying zoning districts. By clustering development strategically, these growing localities position themselves for future service by commuter rail or bus rapid transit, thereby becoming “transit ready.”

Suburban areas that adopt higher-density, mixed-use zoning will find it easier politically to adopt strong environmental protection ordinances applicable to the land outside high-density zones. Where state law permits, density bonuses may be provided in TED zones and cash contributions made by developers in exchange. This money can be used to purchase development rights from landowners in sensitive environmental areas outside the higher-density zone, areas that mitigate climate change through sequestration. This balance between development and conservation can be accomplished within TOD areas as well – highlighting again zoning’s ability to create sustainable settlement patterns and to mitigate climate change.

For more information, see John R. Nolon, Land Use for Energy Conservation and Sustainable Development: A New Path Toward Climate Change Mitigation, 27 Fla. State J. of Land Use & Envtl. L. 1, 25-31 (2012).

Links to previous posts in the Zoning Centennial’s Series:

Part 1: The Need for Public Regulation of Land Use – The First Comprehensive Zoning Law

Part 2:  The Delegation of Legal Authority To Adopt Zoning

Part 3: Zoning Was Contagious, But Was It Constitutional?

Part 4: The Unintended Consequences of Euclidean Zoning

Part 5: The Most Appropriate Use of the Land

Part 6: The Surprising Origins of Smart Growth

Part 7: The Advent of Local Environmental Law

Part 8: Regionalism and ‘Wistful Hoping’

Part 9: Mixed Signals: Exclusionary Zoning and Fairness

Part 10: The Emergence of the Law of Sustainable Development

Part 11: Designing Density

Part 12: Green Infrastructure

Part 12B: Land Use and Energy Conservation

April 11, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, April 8, 2016

Fresh Air episode on states preempting local laws

Fresh Air had a great interview yesterday on the increasingly popular state tactic of preempting local laws.  It's staggering to contemplate the far-reaching vision of this.  I anyone keeping track of this in land use and/or environmental law regulation?



April 8, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, April 7, 2016

APA's 33rd Annual Smith-Babcock-Williams Student Writing Competition: $2,000 prize + publication in Urban Lawyer: June 3 submission deadline

The Planning & Law Division of the American Planning Association announces its 33rd Annual Smith-Babcock-Williams Student Writing Competition. The Competition, which honors the memory of three leading figures in American city planning law (R. Marlin Smith, Richard Babcock, and Norman Williams) is open to law students and planning students writing on a question of significance in planning, planning law, land use law, local government law or environmental law. The winning entry will be awarded a prize of $2,000 and submitted for publication in The Urban Lawyer, the law journal of the American Bar Association's Section of State & Local Government Law. The Second Place paper will receive a prize of $400 and one Honorable Mention prize of $100 will also be awarded. The deadline for submission of entries is June 3, 2016 and winners will be announced by August 22, 2016. Please refer to the enclosed official rules for further details. Our past experience has shown that teachers in planning, planning law, land use law, local government law or environmental law are in an ideal position to stimulate student interest in research and writing and to encourage participation in the Competition. Each year, many of the entries appear to have been prepared initially for various courses or seminars. We hope you will add your support to the Smith-Babcock-Williams Student Writing Competition by encouraging your current and past students to submit entries.

The full announcement here:   Download APA-PLD Student Writing Competition 2016

Hat tip to Alan Weinstein.

April 7, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, April 4, 2016

Zoning’s Centennial, Part 12B: Land Use and Energy Conservation: A Series by John R. Nolon

Part 12B

Zoning’s Centennial

John R. Nolon

Distinguished Professor of Law, Pace Law School

Counsel, Land Use Law Center

Land Use and Energy Conservation

This installment in the Centennial series should be Part 13. However, as a blog about land use and building, we choose to skip this superstitious number, like developers skip the 13th floor. A study done a year ago in New York City found that out of 629 residential buildings with 13 or more floors, only 55 labeled the 13th floor as the 13th floor. This means only 9% of the structures that actually have 13th floors label them as such. The remaining 91% of buildings with 13th floors have relabeled them, for example, as 12B or 14A. And so, this Part of the Zoning Centennial construction project is labeled Part 12B, out of a spirit of cooperation with the private sector.

In turn, the private sector is also cooperating with land use regulators. Together, they are dramatically reducing the energy use in buildings; a key, if not essential, strategy for reducing reliance on fossil fuels and mitigating climate change.

Approximately 40% of total U.S. energy consumption and 70% of all electricity consumed domestically are attributed to residential and commercial buildings. Two-thirds of the energy used to produce electricity is wasted, as heat escapes into the atmosphere during generation, and up to 15-20% of the net energy produced at these plants is lost in transmission.

The following is laundry list of energy conservation and climate change mitigation techniques that rely on land use law, assembled from real projects on the ground:

  • Because of the enormous waste of energy at the point of generation in remote locations, the lowest-hanging fruit in the orchard of energy-conserving land use techniques is to permit or require on-site generation, which is now technically and financially possible in many situations. The LEED-ND rating system gives developers credit for on-site generation and many are earning those points. What LEED recognizes, local governments can make mandatory as part of zoning.
  • The principal method of achieving energy efficiency in new building construction and the substantial renovation of buildings is the energy conservation code; promulgated by the International Codes Council, it has been adopted in most states, and is enforced by local governments. This code contains minimum standards for the design, construction, and installation of the building shell or envelope, mechanical systems, and lighting. By vigorously enforcing this code, dramatic progress can be made in energy conservation.
  • Land use law in some states allows local governments to enhance the energy code by adopting additional standards aimed at achieving greater energy efficiency. A creative example is found in Marin County, California. The County requires large homes under 4,000 sq. ft. to exceed the energy conservation code requirements by 15%. If the home is over 4,000 sq. ft., but less than 5,500 sq. ft., it must exceed the state code in efficiency by 20%. For homes between 5,500 and 6,500 sq. ft., the requirement is 30%. Homes over 7,000 sq. ft. must be “net zero energy” users; a goal that green builders can actually achieve.
  • In New York, the Town of Greenburgh amended its local code to require that all new homes comply with the Energy Star rating system, promulgated by the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy. Energy Star can achieve energy savings in excess of 30% greater than the base energy code. It governs appliances, heating and cooling systems, the thermal envelope, electrical, ventilation, and equipment efficiency.
  • The Town of Blooming Grove, New York, uses a density bonus to encourage home developers to adopt Energy Star. The Town awards a 10% increase in the number of homes that can be constructed under local zoning in exchange for making them all Energy Star compliant.
  • Local subdivision and site plan regulations can be amended to govern building orientation, layout, or landscaping on sites, which can be used to reduce energy consumption in new buildings. Land use laws can require homes in subdivisions to be clustered and designed to conserve energy, or equipped with solar panels (or at least to be wired and built to accommodate them).
  • Solar and wind generation facilities can be either frustrated or facilitated by local land use law. Onsite solar arrays and rooftop wind turbines can be prohibited by use, setback, and height restrictions found in traditional zoning codes. Amendments to these provisions can designate renewable energy facilities as as-of-right uses, allow them by special permit, or permit them as accessory uses. Bonuses, like those used in Blooming Grove, can be used to incentivize renewables.  
  • Local land use boards can require developers and their design consultants to follow an integrated design process, where they collaborate during the early stages of the project review process to achieve the greatest possible energy conservation and cost reduction. It is at this stage that decisions can be made about building orientation, form, shading, energy-efficient exterior lighting, window size and location, rooflines and extensions, reflective roofing, height-to-floor ratios, and building features that relate to passive ventilation and cooling.
  • Local land use laws can achieve extraordinary energy efficiency by permitting and encouraging the use of combined heat and power (CHP) systems in individual buildings and interconnected energy systems in certain mixed use districts. By employing CHP - a mechanical system that can be used to produce electricity, heating and cooling, or both - in higher-density, mixed-use neighborhoods, the potential for energy efficiency, and therefore energy conservation, is remarkably greater than if used on an individual parcel of land.
  • To increase the use of district energy systems (DESs), the local land use regulatory system can be adjusted to allow, or even to incentivize, them. DESs must be made an allowable use under local zoning and site plan regulations, as well as local building and energy codes. They, too, may be encouraged through bonus zoning provisions that provide additional development densities for developers who adopt DES technologies.
  • Finally, the number of localities that are adopting Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) zoning ordinances has been growing exponentially over the past ten years. There are hundreds of examples of new zoning districts that create livable, mixed-use neighborhoods where new buildings are connected to transit systems through design and infrastructure enhancements. In these neighborhoods, per capita CO2 emissions can be two-thirds less than those in typically-zoned neighborhoods in the suburbs (more on this to come in Part 14).

For more information, see John R. Nolon, Land Use for Energy Conservation and Sustainable Development: A New Path Toward Climate Change Mitigation, Journal of Land Use and Environmental Law, (2012).

Links to previous posts in the Zoning Centennial’s Series:

Part 1: The Need for Public Regulation of Land Use – The First Comprehensive Zoning Law

Part 2:  The Delegation of Legal Authority To Adopt Zoning

Part 3: Zoning Was Contagious, But Was It Constitutional?

Part 4: The Unintended Consequences of Euclidean Zoning

Part 5: The Most Appropriate Use of the Land

Part 6: The Surprising Origins of Smart Growth

Part 7: The Advent of Local Environmental Law

Part 8: Regionalism and ‘Wistful Hoping’

Part 9: Mixed Signals: Exclusionary Zoning and Fairness

Part 10: The Emergence of the Law of Sustainable Development

Part 11: Designing Density

Part 12: Green Infrastructure

April 4, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Land use law articles posted to SSRN in March

 Here they are!  The land use law-related articles posted to the SSRN Property, Land Use & Real Property Law eJournal in the month of March.  As is often the case, March was a bumper crop for great new scholarship.


 Legislating Tolerance: Article 976 of the Civil Code of Quebec and Its Application to Mixed-Income and Mixed-Use City Redevelopment Projects
Loyola Law Review, New Orleans, (Forthcoming)
Sara Ross 
York University, Osgoode Hall Law School 

 Governing the Single-Family House: A (Brief) Legal History
University of Hawaii Law Review, Vol. 37, 2015, p.187
Priya S. Gupta 
Southwestern Law School 

 Judicial Constructions: Modernity, Economic Liberalization, and the Urban Poor in India
Fordham Urban Law Journal, Vol. 42, 2014, p. 25
Priya S. Gupta 
Southwestern Law School 

 Strands from the Afterlife of Confiscation: Property Rights, Constitutional Histories and the Political Incorporation of Māori, 1910s-1940s
Stout Research Centre-Victoria University of Wellington, Coming to Terms? Raupatu/Confiscation in New Zealand History, 27-28 June 2008, Wellington (keynote speakers were James Belich, Alan Ward and John Weaver).
Mark Hickford 
Crown Law Office 

 The New Governance for Low-Carbon Buildings: Mapping, Exploring, Interrogating
RegNet Research Paper No. 2016/106
Jeroen van der Heijden 
Senior Research Fellow, Regulatory Institutions Network (RegNet), Australian National University (ANU) 

 Alleviating Barcelona's Public Housing Shortages Through Historic Properties
Ryan Rowberry 
Georgia State University - College of Law 

 Protecting Urban Spaces of Intangible Cultural Heritage and Nighttime Community Subcultural Wealth: A Comparison of International and National Strategies, the Agent of Change Principle, and Creative Placekeeping
Sara Ross 
York University, Osgoode Hall Law School 

 Making a Music City: The Commodification of Culture in Toronto's Urban Redevelopment, Tensions between Use-Value and Exchange-Value, and the Counterproductive Treatment of Alternative Cultures within Municipal Legal Frameworks
Sara Ross 
York University, Osgoode Hall Law School 

 Preserving Canadian Music Culture: The Intangible Cultural Heritage Management of Urban Spaces of Culture and the Case of the Iconic Toronto Music Venue the Silver Dollar Room
Sara Ross 
York University, Osgoode Hall Law School 

 The American Dream, Deferred: Contextualizing Property after the Foreclosure Crisis
Maryland Law Review, Vol. 73, No. 2 (2013-2014) 523
Priya S. Gupta 
Southwestern Law School 

 The Truth in Painting: Cultural Artefacts as Proof of Native Title
‘The Truth in Painting: Cultural Artefacts as Proof of Native Title’ (2005) 9 Law Text Culture 91-124 , 
Kirsten Anker 
McGill University - Faculty of Law 

 Fracking the Unconventional Energy Response to Climate Change: Implications for the Real Estate Industry
Celeste M. Hammond 
The John Marshall Law School 

 The Value of the Right to Exclude: An Empirical Assessment
University of Pennsylvania Law Review, Vol. 165, Forthcoming, U of Penn, Inst for Law & Econ Research Paper No. 16-8
Jonathan Klick and Gideon Parchomovsky 
University of Pennsylvania Law School and University of Pennsylvania Law School 

 The Vested Rights Doctrine: How a Shield Against Injustice Became a Sword for Opportunistic Developers
Ohio State Law Journal, Forthcoming, University of Washington School of Law Research Paper No. 2016-06
Steve Calandrillo Chryssa V. Deliganis and Christina Elles 
University of Washington - School of Law , Principal, Calandrillo & Deliganis, A.B. and University of Washington, School of Law, Students 

 Does the Compensation Clause Burden the Government or Benefit the Owner? The Compensation Clause as Process
Josh Galperin 
Yale Law School 

 Resilience and Raisins: Partial Takings and Coastal Climate Change Adaptation
Environmental Law Reporter, Vol. 46, No. 110123, 2016
Josh Galperin and Zaheer Hadi Tajani 
Yale Law School and Pace University School of Law; Yale University, School of Forestry and Environmental Studies 

 Dead Men Bring No Claims: How Takings Claims Can Provide Redress for Real Property Owning Victims of Jim Crow Race Riots
William & Mary Law Review, Vol. 57, No. 5, 2016
Melissa Fussell 
College of William and Mary, Marshall-Wythe School of Law, Students 

 'No Trespassing': Railroad Land Grants, the Right of Exclusion, and the Origins of Federal Forest Conservation
North Dakota Law Review, Vol. 90, 2014 
Sean M Kammer 
University of South Dakota Law School 

 Because of Winn-Dixie: The Common Law of Exclusive Use Covenants
University of Miami Law Review, Vol. 69, No. 4, 2015
Tanya D. Marsh 
Wake Forest Law School 
 A Fresh Look at Restrictive Use Covenants in Retail Leasing (with Sample Provisions)
The Practical Real Estate Lawyer, 2016
Tanya D. Marsh 
Wake Forest Law School 

 When Death and Dirt Collide: Legal and Property Interests in Burial Places
Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Journal, 2016
Tanya D. Marsh 
Wake Forest Law School 

 The Suspension Theory: Hurricane Katrina Looting, Property Rights, and Personhood
Louisiana Law Review, Vol. 70, No. 1303, 2010
Casey E Faucon 
University of Denver Sturm College of Law - Community Economic Development Clinic 

 The Neglected History Behind Preble v. Maine Central Railroad Company: Lessons from the 'Maine Rule' for Adverse Possession
Hofstra Law Review, Forthcoming
Luke Meier 
Baylor University - Law School 

 The Residency Discount for Rents in Germany and the Tenancy Law Reform Act 2001: Evidence from Quantile Regressions
SOEPpaper No. 822
Bernd Fitzenberger and Benjamin Fuchs 
Humboldt University of Berlin - School of Business and Economics and University of Hohenheim 

 Life Insurance and Retirement Plan Benefits: Are Your Clients Achieving Their Intended Goals?
NYSBA J. 28 (March/April 2016)
Albert Feuer 
Law Offices of Albert Feuer 

 Republic of Brazil v Durant and the Equities Justifying Tracing
Australian Bar Review, 2016, Forthcoming, Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 16/23
Joseph Charles Campbell 
University of Sydney - Faculty of Law 

 Rethinking Terra Nullius and Property Law in Space
Potchefstroom Electronic Law Journal, Vol. 18, No. 7, 2015
Wian Erlank 
North-West University 

 Housing Policies in Singapore
ADBI Working Paper 559
Sock Yong Phang and Matthias Carl Helble 
Singapore Management University - School of Social Sciences and Asian Development Bank Institute 

 What is Behind the Meaning Attributed to the Expression 'Property'?
Barcellos, Ana Paula de, "What is behind the meaning attributed to the expression “property”?" (2008). SELA (Seminario en Latinoamérica de Teoría Constitucional y Política) Papers. Paper 54., 
Ana P Barcellos 
Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (UERJ) - School of Law 

 Tribunal Administration and the Duty to Consult: A Study of the National Energy Board
Tribunal Administration and the Duty to Consult: A Study of the National Energy Board (2015) 65:4 University of Toronto Law Journal 382 (2015) 
Sari Graben and Abbey Sinclair 
Law & Business, Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University and Scargall Owen-King, LLP 

 Deploying the Common Law to Quasi-Marxist Property on Mars
Gonzaga Law Review, Vol. 51, No. 1, 2015/16
Thomas E. Simmons 
University of South Dakota School of Law 

 Paddling in Mr. Potter's Backyard: Navigating New York's Navigable-in-Fact Doctrine
Touro Law Review, Vol. 32, No. 3, 2016
Matthew Ingber 
Ackerman, O’Brien, Pachman & Brown, LLP 

 Housing, Housing Policy, and Housing Finance: Time for a Re-Assessment
Milken Institute Review, Forthcoming
Lawrence J. White 
New York University (NYU) - Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics 

 Preface and Introduction to Private Land Use Arrangements: Easements, Real Covenants and Equitable Servitudes (3rd ed. Juris Publishing 2016)
Private Land Use Arrangements: Easements, Real Covenants and Equitable Servitudes (3rd ed. Juris Publishing 2016)
Gerald Korngold 
New York Law School 

 Future-Proofing Energy Transport Law
Washington University Law Review, Forthcoming, Minnesota Legal Studies Research Paper No. 16-11
Alexandra B. Klass 
University of Minnesota Law School 

 The Logic of Contract in a World of Treaties
William & Mary Law Review, Vol. 58, 2016 (Forthcoming)
Julian Arato 
Brooklyn Law School 

 The Evolution of Chinese Property Law: Stick by Stick?
Private Law in China and Taiwan (Yun-chien Chang ed., Cambridge University Press, Forthcoming)
Shitong Qiao 
University of Hong Kong Faculty of Law 

Protecting People, Protecting Places: What Environmental Litigation Obscures and Reveals About Rurality
Journal of Rural Studies (2016) Forthcoming
Lisa R. Pruitt and Linda Sobczynski 
University of California, Davis - School of Law and Independent 

 The Factual Reality of Koontz v. St. Johns
90 Notre Dame L. Rev. Online 54 (2015)
Eric Dean Hageman 
University of Notre Dame, Law School, Students 

 Exchange Efficiency with Weak Ownership Rights
American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, Forthcoming, John M. Olin Center for Law, Economics, and Business, Discussion Paper No. 858
Oren Bar-Gill and Nicola Persico 
Harvard Law School and Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management 

 Substantive Due Process by Another Name: Koontz, Exactions, and the Regulatory Takings Doctrine
Touro Law Review, Vol. 30, 2014
Mark Fenster 
University of Florida - Levin College of Law 

 Developments in the Apartment and Urban Real Estate Laws in India
Arjya B. Majumdar 
Jindal Global Law School 

 De-Throning King Midas: The New Law of Land Registration in Scotland
Martin Dixon, Amy Goymour and Stephen Watterson (eds), 'New Perspectives on Land Registration: Contemporary Problems and Solutions' (Hart Publishing, 2017), Edinburgh School of Law Research Paper No. 2016/07
Kenneth Reid 
University of Edinburgh - School of Law 

 Emergency Takings
Michigan Law Review, Vol. 114, p. 391, 2015, Brooklyn Law School, Legal Studies Paper No. 447
Brian A. Lee 
Brooklyn Law School 

 Das Ehegattenerbrecht in historisch-vergleichender Perspektive (The Intestate Succession Rights of the Deceased's Spouse in Historical and Comparative Perspective)
Rabel Journal of Comparative and International Private Law (RabelsZ), Vol. 80, No. 1, pp. 39-92, January 2016, DOI: 10.1628/003372516X14497453829601, Max Planck Private Law Research Paper No. 16/8
Reinhard Zimmermann 
Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law 

A Minimal Approach to Adverse Possession
[2015] 79 Conveyancer and Property Lawyer 455-464
John Mee 
University College Cork 

 Local Environmental Regulation in the Mountain West
Stephen R. Miller Barbara J. B. Green Edward Thomas and J. Lawrence Frank 
University of Idaho College of Law - Boise , Sullivan Green Seavy, LLC. , Independent and Atkins Global 

Reforming the Law of Prescription: A Cautionary Tale from Ireland
Warren Barr (ed) Modern Studies in Property Law, Volume 8; pp 31-48 (Hart Publishing 2015)
John Mee 
University College Cork 

 'Land is Life, Land is Power': Landlessness, Exclusion, and Deprivation in Nepal
Fordham International Law Journal, Vol. 34, No. 4, 2011
Elisabeth Wickeri 
Fordham University - Leitner Center/Fordham Law School 

 Drone Zoning
96 North Carolina Law Review, 2016 (Forthcoming)
Troy A. Rule 
Arizona State University (ASU) - Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law 

 Ownership of the Means of Production
E. Glen Weyl and Anthony Lee Zhang 
Microsoft Research New England and Stanford Graduate School of Business 

 Locational Justice: Race, Class, and the Grassroots Protest of Property Takings
Santa Clara Law Review, Vol. 46, No. 4, 2006
Judith E. Koons 
Barry University School of Law 

 Property Rights after Horne
NYU Journal of Law & Liberty, Vol. 10, 2016, George Mason Legal Studies Research Paper No. LS 16-08
Steven J. Eagle 
George Mason University School of Law 

 Legal Nature of Emails: A Comparative Perspective
Duke Law & Technology Review, No. 27, 2016
Edina Harbinja 
University of Strathclyde Law School 

 The Syrian Conflict and the Proposed 'Protect and Preserve International Cultural Property Act'
Santander Art and Culture Law Review 2/2015 (1): 63-82 
Derek Fincham 

 The Effect of the Original Acquisition of Ownership of Immovable Property on Existing Limited Real Rights
Potchefstroom Electronic Law Journal, Vol. 18, No. 5, 2015
Gerrit Pienaar 
North-West University 

 Finding Property in New Places – Property in Cyber and Outer Space
Potchefstroom Electronic Law Journal, Vol. 18, No. 5, 2015
Wian Erlank 
North-West University 

 Valuation in the Constitutional Era
Potchefstroom Electronic Law Journal, Vol. 18, No. 5, 2015
Elmien Wilhelmina J. du Plessis 
North West University - Faculty of Law 

 ¿Puede Ser El Alquiler Una Alternativa Real Al Dominio Como Forma De Acceso a La Vivienda? Una Comparativa Legal Portugal-España-Malta (May Tenancies be an Effective Alternative to Ownership as a Way to Access to Home? A Legal Comparative Portugal-Spain-Malta)
Sergio Nasarre Aznar Maria Olinda Garcia and Kurt Xerri 
Rovira i Virgili University , Universidade de Coimbra and University of Malta 

 Customary Tenure and Innovative Measures of Safeguarding Land Rights in Africa: The Community Land Initiative (Iniciativa de Terras Comunitárias) in Mozambique
IFPRI Discussion Paper 1484
Hagos Hosaena Ghebru Raul Pitoro and Sileshi Woldeyohannes 
International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) , Michigan State University and International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) 

 Eminent Domain Law in Taiwan: New Law, Old Practice?
Eminent Domain: A Comparative Perspective, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (2016), U of Chicago, Public Law Working Paper No. 569
Yun-chien Chang 
University of Chicago - Law School 

 Condominium Law in Taiwan: Doctrinal Overview Under the Lens of Information-Cost Theory
Asia Pacific Law Review, Vol. 23, No. 2, 2015, University of Chicago Coase-Sandor Institute for Law & Economics Research Paper No. 751, U of Chicago, Public Law Working Paper No. 568
Yun-chien Chang 
University of Chicago - Law School 

 The Problematic Concept of Possession in the DCFR: Lessons from Law and Economics of Possession
European Journal of Property Law, 2016, University of Chicago Coase-Sandor Institute for Law & Economics Research Paper No. 750, U of Chicago, Public Law Working Paper No. 567
Yun-chien Chang 
University of Chicago - Law School 

 Towards Women’s Equal Right to Property - Recent Judicial Developments in India
Archana Mishra 
Jindal Global Law School, OP Jindal Global University 

 Green Light for Development
Conveyancer & Property Lawyer 2015 p.1
Martin Dixon 
University of Cambridge - Faculty of Law 

 Developments in Estoppel and Trusts of Land
Conveyancer & Property Law 2015 p.469
Martin Dixon 
University of Cambridge - Faculty of Law 

 A Tangled Web of Priority
Conveyancer & Property Lawyer, 2015, p.97
Martin Dixon 
University of Cambridge - Faculty of Law 

 A Reformist Menu
Conveyancer & Property Law 2015 p.187
Martin Dixon 
University of Cambridge - Faculty of Law 

 Alternatives to the Transfer of Public Lands Act
University of Utah College of Law Research Paper No. 157, Stegner Center White Paper No. 2016-01
John Ruple and Robert B. Keiter 
University of Utah - S.J. Quinney College of Law 

 Metropolitan-Wide Governance and an Innovation District: Smart Growth Reforms to Increase Economic Competitiveness in Warsaw, Poland
Studia Iuridica (Forthcoming), Suffolk University Law School Research Paper No. 16-4
Janice C. Griffith 
Suffolk University Law School 

 The Culture of Private Law
Amnon Lehavi 
Interdisciplinary Center Herzliyah - Radzyner School of Law 

 Property Rights Disputes between Native Brazilians and Rural Producers in the Midwest Region of Brazil: What is the Role of Justice?
Luciana Yeung Silvia M. Q. Caleman and Guilherme Fowler Monteiro 
Insper , Federal University of Mato Grosso do Sul (UFMS) - Department of Administration and Insper Institute of Education and Research 

 Land Use Consultations Advancing Therapeutic Jurisprudence: Ripe for Clinical Trials
Cardozo Journal of Conflict Resolution, 2016 Forthcoming, Arizona Summit Law School Paper Series No. 2016-A-03
Michael N. Widener 
Arizona Summit Law School 

 Takings, Legitimacy, and Emergency Action: Lessons from the Financial Crisis of 2008
George Mason Law Review, Vol. 23, No. 2, 2016, Virginia Law and Economics Research Paper No. 6, Virginia Public Law and Legal Theory Research Paper No. 27
Julia D. Mahoney 
University of Virginia School of Law 

April 3, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, March 31, 2016

The Long Tail of the Athens Food Cart Project

Longtime readers of this blog know that I "retired" as the Managing Attorney of the UGA Land Use Clinic almost four years ago. But apparently the LUC's legacy lives on, at least in a tiny way.  One of the last projects of the clinics was a food truck study and draft ordinance revisions for Athens Clarke County (the combined city-county that is the home of the University of Georgia). And, amazingly, the ACC commission recently voted to allow more food trucks downtown! This is gratifying, if somewhat belated, news.

Jamie Baker Roskie

March 31, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Colorado's Dept. of Local Affairs releases ground-breaking report on planning for hazards and community resilience

The Colorado Department of Local Affairs has just released what I believe is one of the best new tools out there for thinking through planning for natural hazards and resilience issues.  The report, Planning for Hazards:  Land Use Solutions for Colorado, is available in both a hard-copy and web-based format.  Here is the overview:

Planning for Hazards: Land Use Solutions for Colorado enables counties and municipalities to prepare for and mitigate multiple hazards by integrating resilience and hazard mitigation principles into plans, codes, and standards related to land use and the built environment. This guide provides detailed, Colorado-specific information about how to assess a community’s risk level to hazards and how to implement numerous land use planning tools and strategies for reducing a community’s risk. Hazards are occurring more frequently in Colorado, and with greater severity. Experts believe this trend will continue; therefore, this guide helps Colorado to be more resilient and able to protect its residents and property from the devastating impacts of natural and human-caused hazards. This guide provides detailed descriptions of a range of land use planning mechanisms that can be used to reduce risk to hazards. The Colorado Department of Local Affairs led the development of this guide, working with an Advisory Committee comprised of representatives from state and federal agencies, local government, and other subject-matter experts in hazard mitigation and land use planning. The Advisory Committee met three times throughout the course of the project and provided guidance and valuable input at critical milestones, identified key resources, and reviewed interim deliverables. The result is this guide that includes information from Colorado’s leading experts on the subject, and represents varying community sizes, locations, and values.

Perhaps the real value of this guide at this time is that it provides a workable framework for those tasked with application of resilience strategies while also providing a big picture framework that offers a way to think through the reasons why these tools are important.  I imagine that this guide--excellent now--will only get better with future iterations.

View the full website here.

View the report as a pdf here.

March 30, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

March 31 - April 1: Wallace Stegner Center 21st Annual Symposium – Green Infrastructure, Resilient Cities: New Challenges, New Solutions

Excited to be a part of this event.  If you'll be in Salt Lake City, stop on by... 

Green Infrastructure, Resilient Cities: New Challenges, New Solutions

Register online »


S.J. Quinney Moot Courtroom, S.J Quinney College of Law (Level 6)
The Stegner Center’s twenty-first annual symposium, “Green Infrastructure, Resilient Cities: New Challenges, New Solutions,” will address new urbanism and how to create cities that are both sustainable and resilient. Topics to be addressed include urban design, green architecture, water usage (including reuse of waste water and storm water), the suburban-urban interface (including regional transportation, food sheds, and air quality), energy usage in cities, and how to plan for climate change to create resilient cities. Throughout the symposium, speakers and talks will focus on how these issues relate to the Wasatch Front. The College of Law’s new LEED Platinum building will be highlighted, as an example of green architecture.

9 hours of CLE. Registration required. Click here for the Symposium Brochure »

Symposium Agenda

Thursday, March 31, 2015

8:00 a.m. – Registration and Continental Breakfast

9:00 a.m. – Welcome and Introductions

9:10 a.m. – Rethinking Buildings
Thomas Butcavage, Smith GroupJJR
Nicole DeNamur, Pacifica Law Group
Chris Duerksen, Clarion Associates LLC

10:30 a.m. – Break

10:55 a.m. – Rethinking Urban Design
Rob Bennett, EcoDistricts
Rocky Piro, Colorado Center for Sustainable Urbanism
Jonathan Rosenbloom, Drake University Law School

12:15 p.m. – Lunch

1:15 p.m. – Rethinking Water in Cities
Tony Arnold, University of Louisville Louis D. Brandeis School of Law
Stacey Eriksen, EPA Region 8
Eric Millis, Utah Division of Water Resources

2:35 p.m. – Break

3:00 p.m. – Keynote Address – Community Food Systems and Regional Resilience
Sheila Martin, Institute of Metropolitan Studies, Portland State University

3:40 p.m. – Rethinking Energy for Cities
Alexandra Aznar, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Sara Bronin, Center for Energy & Environmental Law, University of Connecticut School of Law
Troy Rule, Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law

5:00 p.m. Conclude

Friday, April 1, 2016

8:30 a.m. – Continental Breakfast

9:00 a.m. – Rethinking the Urban-Suburban Interface
Robert Cervero, Department of City and Regional Planning, University California, Berkeley
Reid Ewing, Metropolitan Research Center, University of Utah
Kellen Zale, University of Houston Law Center

10:20 a.m. – Break

10:45 a.m. – Keynote Address – “Future-Proofing” Infrastructure: Action Items for the Anthropocene
Hillary Brown, City College of New York, CUNY

11:25 a.m. – Incorporating Resilience – to Drought, Disaster, and Climate Change
Melissa M. Berry, Chapman University
Stephen R. Miller, University of Idaho College of Law – Boise
Hari Osofsky, Energy Transition Lab, University of Minnesota Law School

12:45 p.m. Conclude




March 29, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, March 28, 2016

April 4-6: Local Solutions: Eastern Regional Climate Preparedness Conference: Local Government lawyers attend free!

Thanks to an anonymous donor, local government employees and representatives of small- and medium-sized businesses are eligible for special funding to cover the full registration cost of attending Local Solutions: Eastern Regional Climate Preparedness Conference April 4–6 in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. This capacity-building conference, hosted by Antioch University New England’s Center for Climate Preparedness and Community Resilience in partnership with EPA, aims to help communities build resilience for climate-related challenges and severe weather events. It includes dedicated business continuity and education summits, tours of hallmark projects in the Baltimore area, and numerous resources for local government decision-makers, businesses, and others.

This is a great opportunity for: city and town administrators, managers, and elected or appointed officials and decision makers; regional planning councils; emergency preparedness personnel; public works, planning and parks and recreation staff; county government employees; conservation commissions; and code and zoning personnel, and representatives of small- and medium-sized businesses.

Featured speakers include: Stan Meiburg, acting deputy administrator, US EPA; Avis Ransom, Commission on Sustainability, City of Baltimore; Bob Perciasepe, president, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions; Bill McKibben, founder of 350. org; and Mark Jacobson, professor of civil and environmental engineering and director of the Atmosphere/Energy Program, Stanford University, who will discuss how communities can convert to 100 percent clean, renewable energy by 2050.

To learn more about the conference and apply, click here. Connect with the Center and conference on Twitter at @ClimatePrepCenter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Funding will be awarded on a first-come basis with preference given to municipal employees.

Hat tip to Sarah Adams-Schoen.

March 28, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Pace Law School LLMs - deadline April 1

Pace Law School is offering the following positions with a stipend and full scholarship for an LLM degree:

-          Environmental Law LLM Graduate Fellow (work on NELMCC and Pace-NRDC Food Law Initiative)

-          Energy and Climate Center EASE LLM Graduate Fellow (work with Earthjustice on equitable access to sustainable energy)

-          Land Use Law Center LLM Graduate Fellow (work with the Land Use Law Collaborative)

-          Global Center for Environmental Legal Studies LLM Graduate Fellow (work with the International Union for Conservation of Nature)

Details on how to apply can be found at Applicants should send a cover letter, resume, writing sample, and list of references directly to

March 28, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Zoning’s Centennial, Part 12: Green Infrastructure: A Series by John R. Nolon

Part 12

Zoning’s Centennial

John R. Nolon

Distinguished Professor of Law, Pace Law School

Counsel, Land Use Law Center


Green Infrastructure


At their inception, comprehensive planning and zoning focused intensely on capital infrastructure: streets and roads; water and sewer; and electric lines and other utilities.  These served development parcels with their buildings, driveways, and other hardscapes. Streets and roads were classified by traffic load and function with local streets, secondary streets, collectors, and arterials governing the flow of traffic in the public interest. When viewed from 10,000 feet, this gray infrastructure is clearly visible: a thoughtful pattern of connectivity to serve the built environment. This result was one of the principal objectives of early zoning.

Over time, evolving concerns with flooding, public safety, wetland and watershed protection, the urban heat island effect, and the loss of open space and its ecological services gave rise to mapping and preserving the green infrastructure of a community. These plans connect the natural assets of the community in much the same way that planners design a locality’s gray infrastructure. Planners concerned with green infrastructure calculate the current green space coverage and connectivity and then figure out methods of increasing it to a healthy amount of the surface area of the community. This process ensures that an adequate percentage of the land is sheltered and shaded, with its soils held intact and its ability to absorb and retain water preserved, if not enhanced. Water and wildlife, like vehicles and people, need to travel through connected paths and landscapes.

The broad view of green infrastructure envisions it as a strategy for adapting to climate change, bettering air quality, lowering heat stress, creating greater biodiversity, conserving energy, providing ecological services, sequestering carbon, preserving and expanding habitats, enhancing aesthetics, increasing property values, and improving the livability of neighborhoods.

The elements of green infrastructure include green roofs; planters; rainwater harvesting; street trees; preserved open space on building sites; natural vegetated corridors and swales; permeable paved areas accented with green features; xeriscaping; private gardens and public parks; detention basins; bio-retention ponds and rain gardens; green building facades; and greened medians and edges along streets, paths, and rail lines. Parking lots can be greened by adding trees and using permeable surfaces that allow infiltration and permit vegetative growth. When seen from the air, the community with robust green infrastructure appears more connected naturally; ideally, the green and the gray are complementary.

All of these elements of green infrastructure can be built into local planning, zoning, and land use regulations. Cities can begin green infrastructure planning at the same time they create and implement their plans for building and development to accommodate anticipated increases in population. The local comprehensive plan can be supplemented by the addition of a green infrastructure component that grows out of this planning process. Then, zoning and land use regulations can be amended to implement the green infrastructure component’s vision.

An adopted overlay zone can trace the contours of the green infrastructure plan and, within that zone, local review boards can condition approvals, or use zoning incentives, to implement it. Landscaping requirements, along with erosion and sediment controls, can be added to subdivision and site plan regulations. Developers can be required to include green features in, on, and around their buildings. They can also be required to pull development back from floodplains and wetlands and to leave room on their sites for open space. They can pay impact fees where they cause the destruction of vegetated areas and the proceeds can be used to pay for the greening of nearby public spaces. Local and state capital budgets can support street trees, medians, parks, the greening of publicly-owned buildings and sites, and open space preservation.

What the architects of green infrastructure do is use these land use techniques in an integrated fashion; they plan the entire community so that its natural functions are connected and create healthy and livable neighborhoods. In communities that have made green infrastructure a priority, zoning achieves objectives not understood when it was invented 100 years ago.

For more information, see John R. Nolon, Enhancing the Urban Environment Through Green Infrastructure, in Protecting the Environment Through Land Use Law: Standing Ground (Environmental Law Institute ed., 2014),


Links to previous posts in the Zoning Centennial’s Series:

Part 1: The Need for Public Regulation of Land Use – The First Comprehensive Zoning Law

Part 2:  The Delegation of Legal Authority To Adopt Zoning

Part 3: Zoning Was Contagious, But Was It Constitutional?

Part 4: The Unintended Consequences of Euclidean Zoning

Part 5: The Most Appropriate Use of the Land

Part 6: The Surprising Origins of Smart Growth

Part 7: The Advent of Local Environmental Law

Part 8: Regionalism and ‘Wistful Hoping’

Part 9: Mixed Signals: Exclusionary Zoning and Fairness

Part 10: The Emergence of the Law of Sustainable Development

Part 11: Designing Density

March 28, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, March 27, 2016

How--and why--Jackson, Wyoming financed a new vertical farm like an economic development project

The New York Times has the story here.  I have an upcoming article in the Fordham Urban Law Journal describing precisely how this financing mechanism for vertical farms could take off, and why it makes sense.  A link to my article is here.



March 27, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, March 25, 2016

U of Arizona Law seeks executive director for new Natural Resources Users Law & Policy Center

An interesting new position at U of Arizona Law.  From Christopher Robertson, who is heading the search committee.  Contact him if you have questions.  Link to the full position description here.


Title (UPDATED) Executive Director, University of Arizona Natural Resources Users Law & Policy Center
Department Law Instruction (3603)
Location Main Campus
Position Summary

Please note that the review date for this position has been extended.

The University of Arizona College of Agriculture & Life Sciences (CALS) and James E. Rogers College of Law have partnered to create the University of Arizona Natural Resources Users Law & Policy Center (NRULPC). The center will include a Law Practice Group to address the currently unmet legal needs of ranchers, farmers, miners and others whose business involves the use of natural resources and whose business often takes place on “working landscapes.” The Center will also support research, education and outreach to the resource users community. The Executive Director will report to the head of Cooperative Extension for all non-legal functions and the Dean of the College of Law for all law related functions.

Outstanding UA benefits include health, dental, and vision insurance plans; life insurance and disability programs; paid vacation, sick leave, and holidays; UA/ASU/NAU tuition reduction for the employee and qualified family members; state and optional retirement plans; access to UA recreation and cultural activities; and more!

Accepting a new position is a big life step. We want potential candidates and their families to be able to make informed decisions. Candidates who are considering relocation to the Tucson or Phoenix area, and have been offered an on-site interview, are encouraged to use the free services offered by Above & Beyond Relocation Services (ABRS).Ask your department contact to be introduced to ABRS prior to your visit.

The University of Arizona has been recognized on Forbes 2015 list of America’s Best Employers in the United States and has been awarded the 2015 Work-Life Seal of Distinction by the Alliance for Work-Life Progress! For more information about working at the University of Arizona, please click here.

Duties & Responsibilities
  • Implement, manage and provide leadership to the NRULPC, in three phases:
    • Phase 1. Engage stakeholders and the full range of CALS and university experts in natural resources to determine priorities for the NRULPC. The NRULPC will provide private and public lands natural resource users information and assistance when they face complex legal environments. The Executive Director will be tasked with determining which issues to focus on first based upon the needs of the industry.
    • Phase 2. Hire a Legal Director to establish a Public Interest Law Clinic within the Center that will offer College of Law and CALS students experiential learning opportunities by providing legal services and policy advice to resource users. The clinic will serve as a foundation to seek external funding to expand into the second phase.
    • Phase 3. Work with the Legal Director to establish a Law Practice Group, which is akin to a law firm, that will employ post-graduate legal fellows who can provide more advanced representation as full time lawyers and who will become a new source of legal expertise for the commercial world in this broad area, as well as CALS students whose expertise can inform policy work and research—this will be a clear contribution to Arizona’s and the nation’s economic development.
  • Collaborate with stakeholders, internal and external to the University.
  • Design and implement a consultative structure to ensure regular feedback and input from intra- and extra-mural stakeholders.
  • Report quarterly to intra- and extra-mural stakeholders.
  • Work with the Development teams in Law and CALS, develop and implement a fundraising plan so that the NRULPC is self-sustaining within three years of inception.
  • Travel will include face-to-face meetings, conferences, law/policy meetings, workshops, etc. The person will coordinate and attend face-to-face meetings with stakeholders such as Mining, Ranching and Forestry businesses. Plus attend law/policy meetings with the following types of agencies: Farm Bureau, Family Farm Alliance, Agribusiness and Water Council, Arizona Cotton Grower’s Association, the Arizona Cattleman’s Association (travel will be state-wide, but also throughout the West, and perhaps DC). Selected candidate should provide their own transportation.
  • Other duties as assigned.
Minimum Qualifications
  • At least 5 years of practice experience, including experience in many of the following fields: ranching, mining, forestry or other natural resource use law; environmental law, water law, public lands law and policy.
  • A deep demonstrated knowledge of Arizona’s economy with respect to ranching, mining, forestry, and other resource operations in the context of the Southwest including the current challenges facing the industry and a working knowledge of the agencies engaged with the various industries including, but not limited to, the Farm Bureau, Family Farm Alliance, Agribusiness and Water Council, Arizona Cotton Grower’s Association, the Arizona Cattleman’s Association, and similar agencies
  • A working understanding of the local, state and national politics of Arizona’ natural resources and their commercial use.
  • Demonstrated connections within the natural resource industry.
  • Ability to travel in-state.

March 25, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Alaska legislation would let project opponents "phone in" their testimony during quasi-judicial proceedings

From the Alaska News Miner:

Currently, people affected by a land use proposal, such as a request for a conditional use permit, are required to attend such quasi-judicial hearings if they want to weigh in. 

The rule, which also applies in land use appeals, is in place so that affected people can be sworn in and cross examined. 

Under Ordinance 2015-74, they can make arrangements to phone into the meeting or to submit an affidavit.

“If you got a ‘Dear property owner’ letter, then you could have come and testified in the first place.  You should be allowed, even if there is a scheduling conflict, to somehow get your testimony in there,” said Fairbanks North Star Borough Assemblywoman Diane Hutchison.

Hutchison is a sponsor of the measure along with Assemblywomen Kathryn Dodge and Janice Golub. 

The assemblywoman said she is trying to make the process easier for people affected by proposed land use changes in their neighborhoods.

“I definitely think it’s too limiting the way it is,” Hutchison said. “We’ve witnessed where people could have attended a meeting but the meeting got changed.”

The process is conducted at the convenience of the applicant for the land use change, Hutchison said, without as much consideration for other affected parties. 

“If the date doesn’t fit them, how do they get their testimony heard?”

Full article here.


March 24, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Warm Cookies of the Revolution and the advent of the civic health club

 At the Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute's annual conference earlier this month, I  was delighted to hear a presentation by the "civic health" group Warm Cookies of the Revolution.  They led a lunchtime group in an exercise that began with answering the following:

Warm Cookies handout_Page_1

Then, after a discussion of our answers as to what we "own," we then flipped over the page and talked about these other types of things that we also "own" but that have a public character we seldom consider.

Warm Cookies handout_Page_2

It seemed to me a valuable exercise that could be right for a land use class or a state and local government class to get students thinking.  More on Warm Cookies of the Revolution in the video below: 



March 23, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

How many unintended consequences can you find in this proposed bill about short-term rentals and HOAs that will likely be law in Idaho?

Idaho is close to enacting a piece of legislation that purportedly is meant to restrict homeowner's associations (HOAs) from regulating short-term rentals (STRs), such as Airbnb, but only to those that are new purchasers within HOAs.  Well, that is what I am told the proposed legislation is trying to do and that is what leading law firms in Idaho are saying this is about.  However, the proposed legislation is so bizarre and ill-worded to the stated purpose, I had to post it to the blog to see how many unintended consequences of the legislation people could identify.  Here is the proposed additional language:

No homeowner's association may add, amend or enforce any covenant, condition or restriction in such a way that limits or prohibits the rental, for any amount of time, of any property, land or structure thereon within the jurisdiction of the homeowner's association, unless expressly agreed to in writing at the time of such addition or amendment by the owner of the affected property. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent the enforcement of valid covenants, conditions or restrictions limiting a property owner's right to transfer his interest in land or the structures thereon so long as that covenant, condition or restriction applied to the property at the time the homeowner acquired his interest in the property.

See the language in the context of the existing statute here.  The legislative history of Idaho HB 511 is here.  The bill is currently on the Governor's desk and it is presumed he will sign it.

Now for the fun part:  how many ways is this a completely incomprehensible piece of legislation that has nothing to do with STRs?  I will get us started:

  1.  Um, there is no limitation on "rental."  So, this wouldn't govern just short-term rentals, but ALL rentals.
  2. Because this applies to all rentals, would this also mean that the HOA could not govern what a renter does with a property, which might include subletting and assigning of the lease?
  3. What about commercial uses of a "renter," such as daycares in HOAs?  Seems to me that the HOAs could not regulate such commercial uses that are otherwise permitted by local zoning.  
  4.  Presumably the second sentence is meant to mean that existing CC&Rs apply to existing owners.  However, what are we to make of the fact that the first sentence speaks of "property land or structure" while the second sentence speaks of just "right to transfer his interest in land or the structures thereon"?  Is there some aspect of "property" to which the first sentence applies that is not implicated by the second sentence?  
  5. "Rental," "property," "structure," "interest in land," "homeowner," and "owner" are all undefined terms.  Litigators...go nuts!
  6. What's with the gendered pronouns? 

Well, I could keep going, but I'm curious what others think of this bill.  What unintended consequences do you see?  

If nothing else, this bill is a clear indication of how efforts to fix one problem--what to do about short-term rentals in HOAs--can open up a host of new problems.  To my eyes, this is a field day for real estate litigators in the making.


March 22, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)