The United States is struggling to control its sprawling land use patterns and to develop a unifying strategy of smart growth. The new millennium has brought with it greater popular understanding of this matter, and it is now known that land use law and practice directly address the problems associated with sprawl.

In his new book, Well Grounded, Using Local Land Use Authority to Achieve Smart Growth, John R. Nolon explores the growing interest in land use law and practice that has been stimulated by the public’s increasing disfavor with urban sprawl and its support of smart growth initiatives.

The book places land use practice into the national perspective of sprawl and smart growth, by fully describing one of the nation's most complete state land use regimes–the New York system. The New York system is highly textured, and it is typical of the approaches and techniques used in most of the other 49 states.

Land use practice is put into its historical perspective by an easy-to-read description of its evolution from 1916 when New York City adopted the nation's first comprehensive zoning ordinance to the present. The book covers a period up to July of 2001, including commentary on Palazzollo v. Rhode Island, the latest regulatory taking case handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court. The book also describes the political history of land use law in New York, including some stunning victories and defeats which explain why land use law is practiced as it is today.

For land use novices, the book's glossary defines technical terms and each chapter provides basic definitions of all topics before delving into more complicated applications of them. Well Grounded is a comprehensive, easy-to-use, and practical reference for land use officials and professionals, academics, and citizens in all states.


Imprint: Environmental Law Institute
Series: Environmental Law Institute
Publication Date: 07/01/2001
Related Subject(s): Land Use

John R. Nolon, Pace University School of Law

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