Zoning Regulations

Because zoning regulations will sometimes restrict the rights of owners to use their property the way they would like to, they can at times become controversial. Courts have determined that zoning regulation is permissible if it is reasonable and not arbitrary. It must bear a substantial relation to public health, safety, morals and general welfare.

How far can land use regulation go before reaching constitutional injunctions against taking private property for public use without just compensation? Due to recent court decisions, it is more difficult for municipalities to require land developers to give up parts of their property for public purposes. These cases help define the point at which government demand for control over the land reaches a point that it must compensate the owner through eminent domain and condemnation of the property.