I used to think of governmentmeaning good governmentas the major force at work in the civilizing process. Now Im inclined to think of government as being essentially barbaricbarbaric in its origins and forever susceptible to barbaric actions and aims. . . . Some other civilizing agent must therefore be necessary. This, I now think, is the guardian-commercial symbiosis that combats force, fraud, and unconscionable greed in commercial life and simultaneously impels guardians to respect private plans, private property and personal rights. . . . So perhaps we have a useful definition of civilization: reasonably workable guardian-commercial syndrome.
Development is part of the concept of sustainable development. Most environmentalists do not propose rolling society back to the natural conditions of the frontier. But human actions that cause continuing net losses overall, deplete critical resource bases, or foreclose other future necessities, are a shortsighted endgame that long has been the target of environmental laws protective efforts.
While the relative ranking of each element is difficult, it is important. It is difficult because it requires a subjective ranking of one resources value over anothers. The relative ranking is important as it allows local governments to focus on priority protection areas. For communities that deem all their resources of equal value or all their needs of equal importance, the resulting analysis should state so. Otherwise, the community should attempt to prioritize where possible.
The legal implications of this theory seem manifest. A city undertaking to exercise the land regulatory powers granted to it by state enabling legislation should be required initially to formulate a master plan, upon which the regulatory ordinances, of which the zoning ordinance is but one, would then be based.
Prior research suggests that the presence of state planning mandates has a strong influence on the content and quality of local plans. . . . State mandates could thus help local governments to go beyond the rhetoric of sustainable development by requiring local adoption of plan policies that promote balanced and mutually reinforcing sustainable development principles.
According to this study, permit caps and growth boundaries, often modeled as supply constraints that will inexorably elevate housing prices, did not consistently reduce housing growth in the 1980s. Neither did they have any consistent average effect on housing unit types, tenure, or affordability. . . . In short, permit caps and growth boundaries sometimes have exclusionary effects, but often they are little more than symbols of concern about the pace and shape of new growth.
[A]ppellants, focusing on the character and impact of the New York City law, argue that it effects a taking because its operation has significantly diminished the value of the Terminal site. Appellants concede that the decisions sustaining other land-use regulations, which, like the New York City law, are reasonably related to the promotion of general welfare, uniformly reject the proposition that diminution in property value, standing alone, can establish a taking.
But many of the cases coming to us involve merely the legislative judgment. They are the peripheral problems (should the line be drawn here or there?) and the allegations of more advantageous use, with its corollary of confiscation (the property is worth more if devoted to some other use). Save in the most extreme instances, involving clearly whimsical action, we will not disturb the legislative judgment.