Land Use - Fall 2012

Term: Fall Term 2012-13 (2131)
Catalog Number: 5338
Class Number: 20541
Room: LAW G13
Class Schedule:
Type: Lecture
Credits: 2.0
Catalog Requirements:
Enrollment Limit: 20
Priority: General Enrollment Course

The objective of this course is to provide students with a basic introduction to the mechanics and legal theories underlying land use controls. The course will strive to go beyond the theoretical by presenting a series of guest speakers (ranging from judges and zoning officials to land use planners and civil and transportation engineers) who deal with land use issues on a daily basis. Students will also be provided an opportunity to observe zoning board and court proceedings first hand and prepare class projects and papers based upon these proceedings. The course will emphasize the inter-relationship and conflict with environmental regulations. Class discussions and projects will focus upon recent judicial and legislative developments in land use law.

Grading Details

Students will be expected to complete all required readings. Grades will be based on the following: 1. General class participation (10%) - frequency and quality of participation and preparation for class. 2. Writing project (60%) - students will have the choice of one of the following two writing projects: a. Zoning Board Project - The student will be expected to attend a selected local zoning board hearing, review exhibits and legal materials submitted in connection with that hearing, and prior to the zoning board's decision, prepare his or her own findings of fact and conclusions of law. The student will then be expected to make a presentation to the class which, if the zoning board has rendered its decision, will include a comparative analysis of the student's proposed decision and that of the zoning board. b. Paper - The student will be provided with the briefs from a pending Pennsylvania court appeal involving a significant land use issue. The student will be expected to prepare written decisions as if he or she were a judicial court clerk. Each student will be expected to make a brief class presentation concerning the written decision. 3. Periodic in-class analysis of assigned hypothetical land use problems. (30%)