Spring 2014
5335 Land Use - BURKE- 18687

Professor(s): Marcilynn Burke (DEPARTED)

Credits: 3

Course Areas: Energy, Natural Resources and Environmental Law 
Real Property, Trusts and Estates

Time: 10:30a-12:00p  TThLocation: BLB-3 

Course Outline: I. Land Use Regulatory Controls
A. Zoning
B. Subdivision Regulation
C. Financing and Development
D. Planning
II. The Limits of Current Land Use Regulation
A. Judicial Review of Land Use Decisions
B. Regulatory Takings: The Fifth Amendment
C. The First Amendment
D. Alternative Methods for Land Use Decision-making
III. Balancing Growth Management and the Need for Housing
A. Growth Management
B. Securing a Sufficient Housing Supply
IV. The Use of Land Use Controls to Effectuate Governmental Policy Objectives
A. Preventing Housing Discrimination
B. Environmental Protection
C. Urban Redevelopment and Economic Development
D. Siting Unpopular Land Uses and Environmental Justice
E. Protecting Cultural and Aesthetic Values

Course Syllabus: Syllabus

Course Notes:   Land is one of our most scarce and valuable resources and thus it is one of the most heavily regulated resources. It is difficult to pick up a newspaper and not find a story about a land use dispute, such as—

1. opposition to Wal-Mart building its next superstore in Northwest Harris County;
2. challenges to the City of Houston’s Sign Code (which regulates the size, placement, and spacing of billboards and other advertising signs) as a taking without just compensation; or
3. protests about the Port of Houston expanding and in the process filling more than one hundred acres of wetlands.
This course will explore the devices available for regulating the use and development of land, including eminent domain, takings, planning, zoning, subdivision regulation, historic preservation, growth management, open space preservation, redevelopment, and environmental regulation (wetlands, endangered species, and environmental disclosure requirements). In examining these devices, we will consider the rights and concerns of the key actors in this arena, namely, landowners, developers, neighbors, governments (mostly local), environmentalists, and preservationists.


First Day Assignments: All assignments are the casebook, unless otherwise noted.

Jan. 14: Pages 3-46, with emphasis on pages 12-25 and 35-46; also please read the General Class Requirements. Revised 1/13/2014

Jan. 16: Pages 49-79

Jan. 21: Pages 79-103

Jan. 23: Pages 103-33

Final Exam Schedule: 05/01 9am-Noon  240 TU2    

This course will have:

Satisfies Skills Course Requirement: No
Satisfies Senior Upper Level Writing Requirement: No

Experiential Course Type:

Bar Course: