One can understand that in several ways, I suppose. You could infer
that New Urbanism just leaves less room for legal disputes than
traditional Euclidean zoning. For example, there is no need to worry
about non-conforming uses, use variances, or conditional use permits
with Form-Based Codes because those codes do not regulate uses
to begin with. Certainly many advocates of New Urbanism might make this
argument; they would argue that New Urbanist codes, based upon building
form and the transect, are more certain than traditional Euclidean
zoning and also more protective of private property precisely because
they leave more discretion in the market. They are right about the
general point, but it is hard to argue that any legal framework simply
eliminates legal disputes — if it did, it would either be the first such
system to do so or rely upon a sort of coercion wholly at odds with New
Urbanism. (Not too many land use disputes under Stalinist land use,
but that surely did not reflect an advantage
of the system).
Alternatively, you could argue, as many critics of New Urbanism do,
that its land use philosophy is essentially a boutique product, suitable
for Berkeley, Boulder, or Austin, but not for “real” American places.
Thus, it is not prevalent enough to generate cases. This argument runs
aground on facts. New Urbanism does not work everywhere, but it is hard
not be impressed by the wide variety of American communities that are adopting it.