Reflections on Private Property, Planning, and State Power


This essay, in a journal for professional planners and planning lawyers, proposes that the debate between advocates of private property rights and of expansive government regulation of land use be tempered by recognition that the U.S. Supreme Court's takings jurisprudence has not always been as partisan as often portrayed. The essay discusses land use regulation and the appropriate role of planners, in light of information costs and rent seeking. It discusses the difficulties in fine tuning land use through municipal industrial policy and in providing meaningful post-Kelo scrutiny to municipal condemnations for economic development. The essay concludes by suggesting that, under these circumstances, local regulation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is not auspicious.