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Land Use Planning
Temple University School of Law
Sirico, Louis J.

I.          Setting the Stage: From the Unplanned to the Planned Environment (pp. 1 – 22)
            A.        Introduction and Historical Overview
1.         Regulation of land use involves numerous social, environmental, and economic problems
2.         Land use roots go back to exercise of regulatory authority over the use of land, not to the common law of nuisance
3.         Need for zoning grew out of inability for nuisance doctrine to deal with problems of municipal growth
4.         The general rule is, while property may be regulated to a certain extent, if regulation goes too far it will be recognized as a taking
B.                 Nuisance as a Land Use Control Device
1.         Bove v. Donner-Hanna Coke Corp. (smoke, ash, and steam from coke plant)
a.         Pollution-causing industrial operations do not have to be interrupted or curtailed, even if they result in irritation and discomfort to another, when the complaining party builds residence in an area that was already industrialized
b.         Uses objective reasonableness test: An owner will not be permitted to make an unreasonable use of his premises to the material annoyance of his neighbor, if the latter’s enjoyment of life or property is materially lessened thereby
                        2.         Notes:
a.         Nuisance is an unreasonable interference with the use or enjoyment of land; Restatement weighs the gravity of the harm to the P against the utility of the D’s use
            i.          P’s Harm:
                        –           The character of the harm
                        –           The social value of the use invaded
–           Suitability of that use to the character of the area
                                                ii.         D’s Utility:
–                      Social value of the use
–                      Impracticality of avoiding the harmful invasion
–                      Suitability of the use in the area
b.                  Types of nuisances:
i.                    Private: invasion of the interest in the enjoyment of land
ii.                  Public: interference with the rights of the public
iii.                Per Se: conduct that is itself a nuisance
iv.                Per Accidens:  otherwise lawful conduct that is wrongful b/c of the particular circumstances of the case
c.         Zoning classification is a rebuttable presumption of suitability of use in the area
C.                 The Planned Environment: Planning and Zoning
1.         Introduction:
a.         Standard Zoning Enabling Act (early 1920s): directed that zoning be “in accordance with a comprehensive plan” – however did not define what a plan was or how one should be developed
b.         Standard City Planning Enabling Act (1928): defines a master plan and its development
i.          In the early years, a “finding” of comprehensive plans solely in the ordinance itself
            2.         Udell v. Haas (no bowling alley in the “neck” near Hempsted)
a.         Zoning ordinances must (1) be accomplished in a proper, careful and reasonable manner; (2) conform to an entity’s general “developmental policy”; and (3) be consistent with the fundamental rationale of the entity’s zoning law and map
b.         A “comprehensive plan” may be found in the village’s zoning ordinance and in its zoning map
c.         The process by which a zoning revision is carried out is important in determining the validity of the particular action taken
                        3.         California Statute requiring comprehensive long term plans:
                                    a.         Land use element
                                    b.         Circulation element
                                    c.         Housing element
                                    d.         Conservation element
                                    e.         An open-space element
                                    f.          Noise element
                                    g.         Safety element
II.        Zoning: Classic to Contempor

g Act Under Which Municipalities May Adopt Zoning Regulations
B.                 Zoning Districts
1.                  Uses and Use Districts
a.         Pierro v. Baxendale (is a motel a rooming house)
i.          Zoning classifications are valid as long as they are based upon reasonable grounds
ii.         Differences b/t motel and rooming/boarding houses: 
–                      Motels cater to the general public, rooming houses don’t
–                      Motels are not residential in appearance like rooming houses
b.         Manalapan Realty, L.P. v. Township Committee of the Township of Manalapan(Home Depot case)
i.          A zoning ordinance prohibiting certain uses in a zoning district is presumed valid if a rational basis exists for the prohibition of such uses, and the definition for the prohibited uses is not overbroad
ii.         A zoning ordinance is insulated from attack by a presumption of validity; The zoning statute delegates legislative power to local government
2.                  Home Occupations and Accessory Uses
3.                  Height and Bulk Controls
a.         Types
            i.          Setbacks
            ii.         Minimum lot size
iii.                Lot coverage limitations
iv.                Permissible floor area ratios
b.                  Incentive Zoning: granting “bonuses” allowing larger and larger buildings
c.                   SZEA expressly authorizes power to regulate size of buildings
d.                  Bulk controls fall within the preservation of light and air, preservation of view for traffic safety, and access for fire fighting, and for aesthetics