Category: Land Use

A Brief History of Land Use Regulation

On behalf of Kaplin Stewart Meloff Reiter & Stein, P.C. posted in Land Use on Feb 14, 2017.

Land use regulation encompasses a wide variety of laws that impose restrictions on the rights of landowners.  These regulations may include rules relating to building size and zoning rules, among various other permutations.  Fundamentally, all land use regulation is intended to burden a landowner’s use of their real estate property in some way. As late as the turn of the 20th century, most cities in the United States lacked zoning laws altogether — in fact, it was not until 1916 the first zoning code was developed and implemented in New York City.  As the country rapidly urbanized over the course of the 20th century, however, land use and zoning regulations became ubiquitous. Pennsylvania Land Use A significant portion of Pennsylvania land use regulation is split between four land use planning tools authorized by the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code (effected into law in 1968), which empowers municipal governments across the state to implement their own land use regulations. Penn State’s College of Agricultural Services notes that the four municipal land use planning tools in Pennsylvania are as follows: Planning Commissions Planning commissions consist of elected advisors who provide administrative policy guidance on land use regulation and implementation in their respective community.  Advisors wield considerable power in being able to develop and prepare design plans for land use organization and development. Comprehensive Plan The comprehensive plan document is perhaps best seen as a policy guide that represents the coordinated views of a variety of stakeholders — the planning commission, politicians, agencies, private […]