Ethical considerations in the land use decision making process can be organized into a number of categories, including, ﬁrst and foremost, the broad subject of conﬂicts of interest.1 Players in the land use game can ﬁnd themselves in real or perceived conﬂicts situations based on personal ﬁnancial interests resulting from investments, including businesses and real estate holdings (such as the location of their property vis-à-vis the location of the subject property before the Board), employment for themselves or members of their immediate family, and memberships in nonproﬁt organizations that may be either passive or active (e.g., simply dues paying member or ofﬁcer or other volunteer engagement). Other relationships may be problematic, such as private relationships that typically have a shield of conﬁdentiality, such as the lawyer-client relationship or the doctor-patient relationship. This could also extend to members of the clergy who appear before boards where their followers serve as members. This article discusses ethics issues that arise because of various personal relationships between members of land use boards, applicants and other stakeholders. Of course, disclosure of relationships that could be viewed as potential conﬂicts is always advisable, and the discussion of whether or not such disclosure necessitates a recusal may at times warrant discussion with board counsel.
42(5) Zoning and Plan. L. Rep.1
Zoning and Planning Law Report