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Land Use, Planning, and Zoning Legal Research Guide: About

This research guide contains links to primary and secondary sources useful in the study of land use, planning, and zoning law. Also included are pages focused on special topics in land use law.

About This Research Guide

This guide is written for use by Pace Law School students, faculty and staff, and contains links to land use law resources, with a focus on zoning and planning. Use this guide to find local laws which put into effect the land use plans of local governments, and the planning documents, both local and regional, which inform land use planning.  

  • Many treatises and some books are made available on Lexis and Westlaw.  Where secondary sources are available on Lexis or Westlaw, links have been provided along with call numbers for secondary sources that we hold in print. 
  • Some of the links included in in this guide require passwords which are available to Pace Law School students, faculty and staff via TWEN.  

Researchers from other institutions should ask their librarians for assistance if they do not have access to the materials noted in this guide.  

This research guide is an ongoing project. I would like to thank the staff at Pace's Land Use Law Center for Sustainable Development for their many helpful suggestions regarding websites and topics to include in the guide, and I welcome additional comments/suggestions from anyone who is using this guide.

Overview: Land Use Law Research

Land use planning has been described as:

[A] process that allows municipalities to consider the impacts of land use decisions and actions on the immediate and long-range protection, enhancement, growth, and development of the community.  In essence, planning results in a blueprint for community development and it becomes an important indicator of quality of life in our cities, towns and villages....The legal system in nearly every state encourages local governments to consider all of this and to create, in response, a land use plan.

Zoning and other land use controls are the legal tools that implement the land use plan.[1]

Researchers looking at land use law issues will need to consider federal and state statutes, federal and state cases, and federal and state administrative regulations and decisions. These resources can easily be searched by researchers with access to Westlaw and/or Lexis.

More difficult to locate are the local laws which put into effect the land use plans of local governments, and the planning documents, both local and regional, which inform land use planning. The special topic tabs associated with this guide are designed to aid the land use researcher in finding model ordinances, case studies, and policy documents associated with these topics. 

[1] John R. Nolon & Patricia E. Salkin, Land Use In a Nutshell, 39 (2006).

LibGuide Author

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Vicky Gannon
Head of Collection Services / Reference Librarian

Pace University School of Law Library

78 North Broadway

White Plains, NY 10589

914 422-4369