Planning Law, Administration and Implementation

 

CRP 492, CRP 592, CRP 492XQ, CRP 592 XQ                                                        Fall 2004

CRP 492/592   Tuesdays and Thursdays 12:40 – 2:00                                      Design 416

 

Tara Lynne Clapp, PhD and Gary Taylor, JD, MCRP

 

Dr. Tara Lynne Clapp                                                                           Email:  tlclapp@iastate.edu

Office:  377 College of Design                                                  Phone:  515-294-7759

Website: http://www.public.iastate.edu/~tlclapp/

Office Hours:  Fridays 10:00 – 12:00, or by appointment

Please email to schedule if you need an appointment outside of office hours.

 

Gary Taylor’s office, email and hours TBA

Introduction and Objectives:

Practicing planners must have a working familiarity with land use and administrative law.  Laws, statutes and ordinances are the tools that many planners use to help communities bring goals to implementation.  The law is both the source of the planning power and the source of limits on that power. Legal standards of conduct for planners require that planners are familiar with planning law and its constitutional context.  In 1981, Justice Brennan of the Supreme Court wrote “if a policeman must know the Constitution, then why not a planner?”[1] 

 

This course is part of the core curriculum in both the undergraduate and graduate programs in CRP.  The faculty expects students to demonstrate learning outcomes from this course that they can apply in the planning profession.  (See Program Learning Outcomes on CRP Department website:  Policy Planning, Communication, Knowledge).  Most of these learning outcomes would also be relevant in other fields.

 

Undergraduate (492 and 492 XQ) students should expect that by the end of this course they will be able to:

-         Understand the legal context of planning, including the content and role of enabling legislation, how laws change and how they have changed, and the current state of planning and land use law;

-         Understand the legal power to plan and limitations on that power, the powers and obligations of planning agencies, and be familiar with some of the major rulings in land use law;

-         Understand the role of the law in planning and plan implementation, in particular comprehensive planning documents and local zoning ordinances;

-         Read and understand zoning ordinances;

-         Keep up with their professional responsibilities to develop and maintain knowledge of land use law, by being able to find, read and analyze relevant new statutes and cases;

-         Brief a case;

-         Apply the material from the readings to new situations.

 

Graduate (592 and 592 XQ) students should expect themselves to reach those learning outcomes specified for the undergraduates.  In addition to the expectations for undergraduate students, graduate students should expect that they will be able to:

-         Pursue individual research on legal topics using secondary and some primary legal materials in the context of policy and planning projects;

-         Maintain familiarity with case law relevant to planning;

-         Form policy and planning opinions that are supported by legal reasoning as well as political and social reasoning, and communicate these opinions in presentations and in papers.

 

Required Readings:

 

492, 492 XQ, 592 and 592 XQ:

Feinman, Jay. 2000. Law 101: Everything You Need to Know About the American Legal System. New York: Oxford University Press.

instructor’s note:  well, not quite *everything*

 

Gitelman, Norton, Salkin and Wright. 2004.  Cases and Materials on Land Use: Sixth Edition. Thomson West Publishing.

 

Other assigned materials:  Other public domain materials such as zoning ordinances and statutes will also be assigned.  These are usually available online and while you will not need to purchase them, you will probably find it useful to print them out for use in class and for studying.

 

Check WebCT site for reading assignments and schedules:  The schedule of classes and readings does not have all the materials listed that we will use in class.

 

Recommended and Supplementary Materials:

Background (useful for background in concepts):

Platt, Rutherford H. 1996. Land Use and Society: Geography, Law and Public Policy. Washington: Island Press.

 

Useful to consider the nature of property in its private and public complexity.

Freyfogle, Eric T. 2003. The Land We Share: Private Property and the Common Good. Washington: Island Press.

Geisler, Charles and Gail Daneker.  2000.  Property and values:  Alternatives to public and private ownership.  Washington:  Island Press. 

Meltz, Merriam and Frank. 1999. The Takings Issue: Constitutional Limits on Land Use Control and Environmental Regulation. Washington: Island Press.

592:  review Property readings from Land Use class

 

For longer summaries of law without the interest of the cases in the assigned textbook.

Wright and Gitelman. 2000. Land Use in a Nutshell. St Paul MN: West. Fourth edition.

 

Please familiarize yourself with the legal research resources, online at: Library/Collections/e-Reference/Lexis-Nexis Academic/Legal Research. We have excellent access to cases and journals, and you will be expected to use these resources. Other good online sources for legal research include most law school websites (I like the Cornell law school site). Advocacy websites (foundations etc) are good sources for “issues” but are not reliable sources for the content of law.

 

Course Outline and Requirements

 

There is more material that we really ought to understand than will fit in to the time we have, especially given that most of us need to be introduced to ‘law’ before ‘planning law.’ So, the reading load will be heavy, and the expectations for individual work will be high.

 

We will begin with an introduction to the role of law in a typical planning situation. Then, we will step back to a general introduction to the most relevant aspects of the legal system: constitution, procedure, tort, contract and property. Then we will venture into the arcane and mysterious world of the common law. Our purpose there is to get a sense of the roots of planning law, and to understand the scope of current applications of this venerable area of law. We’ll be briefing cases daily for a week or two. We will all understand the outlines of the tort of common law nuisance and how it underlies the public regulation of land use. I will know this to be true because you will write about this.

 

We will then turn to the statutory bases for local government planning in enabling acts. We will all be able to recognize an enabling act at 50 paces, understand where they came from, what they mean for planning agencies, and hopefully why many people want to change them. You will write about this, too. We won’t have much time to spend on the legal status of planners and the current state of state and regional planning.

 

We will then move on to the laws of comprehensive plan implementation, including the basics of zoning and subdivision control, and the messy world of exactions and impact fees. While there won’t be an assignment on this material, you will be expected to demonstrate your understanding in the major assignments that follow. 

 

I have chosen four major areas of planning issue application, and the major assignments will be presented in Weeks 12-14 of the class:  growth management, local environmental law, aesthetics and discrimination.  Graduate students will lead the class through the introduction to the laws and the major current issues, and one group of undergraduates will present specific research on one issue within each of these application areas.

 

Undergraduate Student Evaluation (492 in class)

In order to meet the objectives of the course, undergraduate students will be expected to: 

-         attend class sessions and do the readings,

-         take notes from the readings, lectures and presentations,

-         participate in class discussions,

-         complete all assigned case briefs and assignments,

-         analyze and present one case, and

-         with a group, analyze one current issue in the application of local land use law in Iowa, and write a report that recommends how (one small town) should address this issue to meet land use/policy goals. Each group will present this report (analysis and recommendations) to the class.

 

Participation (20%):  All students are expected to contribute to the class by asking questions, giving their considered opinions, and participating in in-class exercises. Participation is made possible by attendance: full attendance is required. Two excused absences during the term, for reasons of illness or family emergency, will not result in a grade penalty. No student will be able to pass the class with more than six absences, including illness and family emergencies. If you expect to have time conflicts, please see me immediately.

 

Case Briefs and Assignments (50%):  There is a series of assignments through which you are expected to demonstrate your understanding of the readings, your ability to brief a case, and your ability to integrate the course material in thinking about problems. Not all the assignments will be graded. However, all assignments must be completed to earn any portion of the grade. Assignments and case briefs that do not demonstrate required learning will be returned for a ‘redo,’ with feedback (see policies).

 

Group Project and Presentation (30%):  The final project for 492 is a professional report that explains and recommends current land use policy/law to a (small) local government to meet a specific goal in one of four areas: growth management, historic preservation, environmental protection, or non-discrimination. This report should identify where an attorney’s advice or services should be engaged.  The issues and proposal should be illustrated with reference to what similar communities are doing about the same issue. The report is expected to demonstrate clarity about jurisdiction, constitution and planning power.

 

There will be some (but not much) in class time for group meetings. A 5 page draft of the report (introduction, background, analysis, recommendations) is due October 28. The final report (10-12 pages) is due in class on December 2. Projects should use the CRP Department style guide.  Spelling and grammar count.

 

492 XQ:  see website for assignments and evaluation

 

Graduate Student Evaluation (592 in class)

 

In order to meet the objectives of the course, graduate students will be expected to: 

-         attend class sessions, participate in discussions, do the readings, take notes;

-         doing assigned case briefs and using supplementary materials (listed and not listed) in doing assignments;

-         lead seminar discussions and participate in class discussions;

-         analyze and present one case to the class, with a partner;

-         write and present a paper on the applications of planning law.

 

Participation (15%):  All students are expected to contribute to the class by asking questions, giving their considered opinions, and participating in in-class exercises. Participation is made possible by attendance: full attendance is required. Two excused absences during the term, for reasons of illness or family emergency, will not result in a grade penalty. No student will be able to pass the class with more than six absences, including illness and family emergencies. If you expect to have time conflicts, please see me immediately.

 

Case Briefs and Assignments (30%):  There is a series of assignments through which you are expected to demonstrate your understanding of the readings, your new ability to brief a case, and your ability to integrate the course material in thinking about problems. Not all the assignments will be graded. However, all assignments must be completed to earn any portion of the grade. Assignments and case briefs that do not demonstrate required learning will be returned for a ‘redo,’ with feedback.

 

Individual Paper (35%: 20% first draft, 15% final version): 

Each graduate student is expected to write a 15-20 page term paper concerning the interaction between the law and a specific (assigned) area of planning.  (see Class Leadership below).

Paper topics involve the law of planning as it affects specific areas of implementation and different kinds of planning goals.  Try to choose the area of most interest to you, with your thesis research in mind.  The four general topics are:

-         growth management

-         local environmental law

-         aesthetics, and

-         discrimination and equity.

A 12 page draft of this paper is due October 28.  I will review the drafts according to the paper rubrics on the website and give feedback in time for revisions to your final paper. Papers should use the CRP Department style guide.  Spelling and grammar count.  Final papers are due in class on December 2.

 

Graduate Student Class Leadership (20%):

Working with one or two others in the same general topic area, graduate students will lead one assigned class session. This class session should include a general introduction to the assigned area of law, including the outlines of two or three major or controversial cases, and outlines of each of the individual papers (as appropriate). This class session MUST include an activity that is designed to help other students integrate the materials from the assigned readings. The activity will be counted as an in-class assignment and possibly graded.

 

 

592 XQ:  please see website for assignments and evaluation weighting

 

Miscellaneous Policies

 

Deadlines and due dates are firm. These include the dates when you are due to present in class to your peers, as well as the dates when you are due to hand in an exercise or paper.  While the class schedule is subject to change (by the instructor), any changes in due dates will be announced in class and posted on the website.

 

Late assignments or missed presentations/case briefs may be accepted. Remember, you must complete all assignments and case briefs to pass the class.  However, for graded assignments, you will lose a full grade/day without a significant health- or family-related cause supported by documentation. 

 

Assignments that are given back for a ‘redo’ will be due in one week.

 

Please don’t email me on matters that another student can help you with. Use the website for schedule information. If you miss a class, it is your responsibility to try to find out what you missed that day, from another student.  Find a partner in the class, exchange emails, and agree to share notes on such occasions.  Try to find a partner that is as conscientious as yourself, you’ll be happier that way.

 

We follow university guidelines on academic honesty and incompletes. Please see the University guidelines on academic dishonesty. I will pursue any plagiarism – use of the work of others without appropriate credit – to the ‘full extent of the law.’ Incompletes will not be given without significant health- or family-related emergency.

 

Grading:

We will use rubrics and letter grades in this class.  Letter grades translate as follows:

A: Superior work, beyond expectations, shows thoughtfulness and initiative.

B: Work that exceeds the basic requirements of the assignment, communicates well.

C: Meets basic requirements.

D: Needs improvement to meet basic requirements.

F: Does not meet basic requirements.

If you are asked to redo and choose not to, you will receive an F for the assignment, but in good faith cases it will show as a ‘completed’ assignment.

 

Special Needs

Please address any special needs or special accommodations with me at the beginning of the semester or as soon as you become aware of your needs. Those seeking accommodations based on disabilities should obtain a Student Academic Accommodation Request (SAAR) form from the Disability Resources (DR) office (515-294-6624). DR is located in 1076 Students Services Building.

 

 

 



[1] San Diego Gas and Electric Co. v. City of San Diego, 450 U.S. 621 (1981).