Land Use Law provides the law student with the background principles of land use law and acquaints the law student with federal, state and local statutes, ordinances and regulations which regulate land use. Students learn the appropriate legal source material for land use law. They are required to submit a written project which utilizes their course knowledge and research skills in the context of a local land use problem.
The course emphasizes the constitutional issues of land use regulation:
Taking of private property for public use without payment of just compensation
First Amendment: Land use regulation which involves speech, religion, assembly
Procedural and substantive due process
The course then addresses the zoning system, innovative land use regulatory techniques, and special exceptions such as variances and non-conforming uses, the role of planning in the land use regulatory process, and the subdivision of land.
Attention is given to growth management issues and tools, including " The New Urbanism", in the context of contemporary New Mexico communities and the current drought. Land Use Law is related to other courses in the Law School curriculum, including Real Property, Natural Resources Law and Water Law, as well as Public Lands Law.
In preparation for their Projects, students must attend meetings of federal, state or local governing bodies, agencies, homeowners associations, etc..
Land Use Controls will be taught as an interdisciplinary course with the School of Architecture and Planning, Community and Regional Planning Program, with law students and graduate planning students having a unique opportunity to share their professional perspectives.