Posted by: Patricia Salkin | November 27, 2008

Early Black Friday Shopping for Land Use Lawyers, Planners and Planning Commissioners

Last year for Thanksgiving the posting featured “leftover” miscellaneous topics of interest to readers.  This year, in the spirit of preparing the holiday shopping lists and reviewing the bargains on Black Friday, Law of the Land finally responds to a number of reader inquiries about recommended books and resources for land use lawyers, planners and planning commissioners.  A number of the recommended titles have already been reviewed on the blog, and those reviews are tagged for your quick reference.  The books and resources below should be considered for the land use junkie on your holiday shopping list – and, in the spirit of Black Friday, every effort was made to find the book seller offering the book at the least expensive price for your convenience. Admittedly, everything on this list is already on my bookshelf. Readers are especially invited to comment on this posting to share your recommended reading with others.


 Novel Approaches to Land Use Law


Over the last couple of years, there have been two significant soft cover books, one a novel and one a murder mystery, that focus exclusively on land use law.  Bordering on Madness: An American Land Use Tale by Andrew Popper, now its second printing, can be ordered for $25 here.  Retired land use attorney Shel Damsky’s work, Murder and the Comprehensive Plan, can be purchased for $16.95 here. A fascinating an easy-to-read history of the landmark case of Euclid v. Ambler by Michael Allan Wolf, The Zoning of America: Euclid v. Ambler, can be purchased for $15.25 here.


Quick Pocketbook Resources on Land Use Law


Dwight Merriam’s The Complete Guide to Zoning provides can be purchased for $16.46 here.  The book provides a concise plain English guide to the land development approval process. Land Use in a Nutshell by John Nolon and your blogger can be purchased for $26.10 here. This book provides a concise national overview of land use law for lawyers and planners, and AICP recommends it as reading in preparation for the AICP exam.


The Gift That Keeps on Giving: Subscriptions to Last a Year


Planning and Environmental Law, a monthly publication from the American Planning Association is a fantastic resource for those desiring to keep current on legal aspects of land use and environmental planning.  Subscriptions can be purchased on-line for $395 here. Edited by Lora Lucero, each of the eleven issues features commentaries by leading attorneys, planners and academics on cutting edge issues and developments.  Caselaw updates and new relevant statutes are contained in each issue.  Subscribers can also access a unique on-line database to search for prior commentaries, cases and other abstracts of interest. Zoning and Planning Law Report, a monthly newsletter co-edited by your blogger features a lead article by a leading authority on current legal issues in zoning law, followed by case summaries.  The Report can be purchased for $795 here.  The Quinlan Zoning Bulletin is a newsletter that discusses recent court decisions.  It can be purchased for $165 here.


National Reference Materials – Single Volumes    


Professor Daniel Mandelker’s Land Use Law, 5th edition, can be purchased here for $187. The book offers an overview of planning and zoning law in one volume, highlighting key concepts and trends.  Land Use Planning and Development Regulation Law, 2nd edition by Professors Juergensmeyer and Roberts can be purchased for $50 here. This book, part of the “hornbook series” – a favorite of law students, begins with the historical development of land use law and covers major planning topics and constitutional aspects of land use regulation.  


Multi-Volume Reference Sets


The following reference sets provide detailed and in-depth discussion of hundreds of topics in planning and zoning law.  They are updated multiple times throughout the year.

The five-volume Rathkopf’s Law of Zoning, now written by Professor Edward H. Zeigler, can be purchased for $1,533 here.  The five-volume American Law of Zoning, fifth edition, just completed by your blogger, can be purchased for $700 here. The ten-volume Zoning and Land Use Controls edited by Eric Damien Kelly (formerly Rohan) can be purchased for $2,247 here.


How to Books


Handling the Land Use Case, 3rd edition by land use attorneys John Delaney, Stanley Abrams and Frank Schindman and can be purchased here for $479. Generally, I also purchase all of the land use titles from the American Bar Association’s State and Local Government Law Section many of which can be found here.  In addition, browsing the American Planning Association’s Publications here will provide a treasure trove of books and periodicals on just about any topic in planning and land use law.


This list is by no means an exhaustive list of the wonderful resources available for the planners, lawyers and board members on your holiday list.  It does provide some creative and practical gift-giving ideas. And, if you see something on this list of interest, how convenient to pass this posting along to someone who may have you on their list!



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