There has never been a more challenging time to practice land use planning and zoning law in New York. With goals of sustainability at the forefront of the land use regulatory agenda, this brief account of recent developments in land use law highlights some discernable trends, namely: the modernization and increased flexibility of New York State planning and zoning enabling acts, the inspired local initiatives and lethargic State response to affordable housing issues, and the increasing impact of alternative energy systems on local regulatory schemes.
Part I of this article explores the impacts on community development caused by the many modifications to New York State’s planning and zoning enabling acts over the last two decades. Particularly, the article identifies the delegation of extensive discretionary authority to local governments as New York’s signature approach to land use control.
Part II discusses “affordable housing” as a key attractant for judicial action and local government response. With the exception of the Long Island Workforce Housing Act in 2008, the State has been slow to act on judicial calls to action, forcing local governments to develop unique solutions in order to provide affordable housing.
Finally, Part III notes the challenges being faced by lawyers and planners in light of growing preference for alternative energy systems, with specific focus on reactions to Wind Energy and Solar Energy installations.
29 Pace L. Rev. 563 (2009).