AuthorCharles M. Haar/Michael Allan Wolf
Page xxvii
Pref ace
As our subtitle states—simply and directly—this is a casebook. While other authors choose to
provide students with ample excerpts from law review articles and treatises, along with generous
explanatory passages that are commonly found in hornbooks, we move the cases—and judicial
analysis—back to center stage. e basic reason for this choice is that even in an area largely
delineated by local ordinances and state statutes, judges remain key makers and interpreters of
land use planning law. e central inquiries of this discipline are disputed in legal briefs and oral
arguments, and are addressed in judicial opinions: What is the nature of the comprehensive plan?
How close a t is required between zoning decisions and the plan? When does regulation go so far
that it amounts to a taking requiring invalidation or compensation? When do constitutional rights
such as free speech and the free exercise of religion trump the police power? What kinds of behav-
ior amount to unreasonable interference with one’s neighbor’s use and enjoyment of real property?
How do we know if a zoning or planning decision constitutes unlawful, invidious discrimination?
How do we decide which local regulatory decisions are legislative and which are quasi-judicial, and
what are the legal and practical implications of that denitional choice? When does local innova-
tion fall beyond the bounds established by state-enabling legislation?
We have spent several decades engaged in land use planning and environmental law not only
as teachers and scholars, but as partners to private- and public-sector participants involved in acts
and decisionmaking at the cutting edge of these elds—from urban renewal and Model Cities,
through enterprise zones and inclusionary zoning, to New Urbanism and green building. e
bulk of our writing—separately and as a team—has been intended for instructors, practitioners,
and students who are fascinated by the issues at the core of land use planning law: (1) zoning; (2)
comprehensive planning; and (3) eminent domain. To us, a casebook is not an extended advocacy
piece designed to advance one legal, jurisprudential, or political strategy regarding the regulation
of land use and development. We have one overriding obligation—to consider in an evenhanded
and thorough manner the chief challenges facing lawyers and planners who, on a regular basis,
are tasked with nding the correct balance between the needs and rights of private landowners
and the protection and advancement of the public interest, between the urgencies of the present
and the anticipated impacts on future generations. Given this orientation, it is not surprising that
cases, not commentary, remain the central teaching and learning tool of Land Use Planning and
the Environment.
While other casebook authors identify one case to represent each issue in the casebook, we are
uncomfortable with this practice. erefore, throughout the book, we include cases and selections
from cases that illustrate competing or complementary approaches. In this way, we have tried to
craft a casebook with jurisdictional and analytical depth, making it a better match for the complex
world of land use planning law “on the ground.” We provide guidance to our readers (teachers and

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