October 23, 2012

Vol.32, No.1, Winter2000

The Urban Lawyer,
Vol. 32, No. 1, Winter 2000

Publication Date: April 4, 2000

George W. Liebmann, Land Readjustment for America: A Proposal for a Statute, 32 Urb. Law. 1 (2000).

The combination of cost, coercion, and planning blight have discredited American urban renewal, and private assembly is rarely attempted. The difficulties attendant upon both private land assembly and eminent domain were ably recounted sixty years ago, and the situation has not changed since. A third method, popularly known as "Land Readjustment," has been in use in major countries other than the United States and England for a century and has proven especially useful in reclaiming decayed slums and repairing war damage. At a time when many American inner cities resemble war zones, with vacant lots and vandalized buildings, use of this technique deserves exploration. Although not suitable for adoption as it stands, this article describes a draft statute, owing something to prior American proposals and something to foreign land readjustment experience. The discussion is designed to surface issues.


Shelley Ross Saxer, Planning Gain, Exactions, and Impact Fees: A Comparative Study of Planning Law in England, Wales, and the United States, 32 Urb. Law. 21 (2000).

This article compares the ways in which the United States, England, and Wales attempt to control both public and private land development abuses and the externalities problem. The different impacts that occur during land development (referred to as externalities), including impacts on municipalities, its citizens, competing developers, competing communities, and the environment, are identified. How development rights are obtained in the United States are compared with the approaches used in England and Wales for obtaining plan permission. The article discusses how the respective countries compel developers to internalize the external costs of development. The article concludes by proposing that developers and local governments use bargaining tools, such as the U.S. development agreements and the section 106 agreements in England and Wales, to distribute development burdens.


Ane D. Deister, Environmental Mediation Strategies for Success: Summaries of Two Consensus-Based Cases-Florida's Growth Management Act Legislation and the Los Angeles River Watershed Task Force, 32 Urb. Law. 73 (2000).

This article summarizes two environmentally based disputes in which ADR mediation techniques were used successfully, both in an up-front manner, to help prevent a conflict from arising, and after-the-fact, once litigation had begun. For each case the salient features of the issues, parameters of the dispute, participants involved, and the general resolution reached are presented. Tips and tactics are provided generally for this style of mediation and specifically for these two cases. The discussion and conclusion sections of the article review ADR-related history, its current use in environmental disputes, and offers practical information and applicability to other similar environmentally based conflicts.


Rachel Weber, 1998 R. Marlin Smith Student Writing Competition Award Winner-Why Local Economic Development Incentives Don't Create Jobs: A Legal Analysis of Corporate Incentive Structures, 32 Urb. Law. 97 (2000).

The practice of economic development planning rests on the assumption that municipal governments have a modicum of control over the local economy. Although scholars are convinced that incentives do not work, practitioners continue to rely on them. This article develops a third approach to explain the failure of economic development incentives: a legal-institutional approach. After briefly reviewing the economic development literature on public subsidies and job creation, this article introduces the concept of "corporate governance" in legal theory and doctrine. It discusses how American financial market institutions reinforce corporate governance rules, placing pressure on management to privilege short-term returns over investments in labor and training. The article concludes with a discussion of the potential avenues of reform that can assist planners and municipal attorneys in holding subsidized firms to their economic development promises.


D.J. Gerken, 1999 R. Marlin Smith Student Writing Competition Award Winner-Loopholes You Could Drive a Truck Through: Systematic Circumvention of Section 4(f) Protection of Parklands and Historic Resources, 32 Urb. Law. 121 (2000).

Section 4(f) of the Department of Transportation Act prohibits federal support for highway projects that use significant parklands and historic resources. This article describes the threats to parklands and historic resources that prompted Congress to pass section 4(f). It details the substantive force and broad remedial nature of section 4(f) when it applies, and the strategies employed by local and state highway planners to avoid it. In particular, Section VI describes the techniques used by highway planners to argue that particular parklands or historic lands are not protected section 4(f) resources. A case study of a highway project in Charlottesville, Virginia, for which state and local highway planners employed several of the strategies described in the article, is also presented. Finally, the article suggests changes to the law that might undermine the success of these strategies and concludes that a state-based approach would be most effective.

With Book Reviews on

Deregulatory Takings and the Regulatory Contract: The Competitive Transformation of Network Industries in the United States

Reviewed by Jeanne McNabney

The Schools We Need and Why We Don't Have Them

Reviewed by Debbie Brooks

To Serve and Protect: Privatization and Community in Criminal Justice

Reviewed by Pamela Roychaudhury

With Cases, Statutes, and Recent Developments

Americans with Disability Act . 171

First Amendment . 172

Fourth Amendment . 173

Sovereign Immunity . 174

Title VII . 175


And Books of Note considering

Designs for Human Ecosystems: Landscape, Land Use, and Natural Resources

Acceptable Risk? : Making Decisions in a Toxic Environment