The Yale Law Journal

Land Use


Making the Temporary Permanent: Public Space in a Postpandemic World

Sarah Schindler

Local governments are deciding whether to retain modifications to the built environment implemented during the pandemic. While these sidewalk and street reconfigurations provide health and economic benefits, they also harm already-underrepresented community members. This Essay weighs these positive …


Infrastructure Sharing in Cities

Sheila R. Foster

This Essay reflects on the ways that cities engaged in “infrastructure sharing” during the pandemic, and the implications for the potential of cities to address infrastructure inequity. The Essay argues that while cities found creative ways to repurpose public spaces, more can be done to repurpose t…


Public Rights of First Refusal

Peter Damrosch

This Note provides the first study of public rights of first refusal, an underappreciated land-use power that governments use to acquire property. It argues that these rights can, under certain conditions, provide a means of balancing individual and collective needs that is superior to both eminent …


"We Don't Follow, We Lead": How New York City Will Save Mortgage Loans by Condemning Them

Robert Hockett

Introduction1 Many cities across the nation have begun to consider exercising their eminent domain authority to purchase, then write-down principal on, otherwise unmodifiable home mortgage loans facing foreclosure.2 I and several others have advocated this method and cognate uses of gover…


(Re)Solving the Tribal No-Forum Conundrum: Michigan v. Bay Mills Indian Community

Matthew L.M. Fletcher

Michigan v. Bay Mills Indian Community, a dispute over a controversial off-reservation Indian casino, is the latest opportunity for the Supreme Court to address the doctrine of tribal sovereign immunity. The Court could hand Michigan a big win by broadly abrogating tribal immunity, and in turn wreak…


Searching for Balance in the Aftermath of the 2006 Takings Initiatives

Hannah Jacobs

116 Yale L.J. 1518 (2007)

The partial regulatory takings movement seeks to compensate private landowners when regulations diminish their land values. This movement has grown in recent years, particularly at the state level. Scholars have focused thus far on the cost of compensation and its effect …


Private Law or Social Norms? The Use of Restrictive Covenants in Beaver Hills

Valerie Jaffee

116 Yale L.J. 1302 (2007)

This Note provides a detailed history of the use of restrictive covenants in Beaver Hills, a planned residential subdivision built in New Haven between 1908 and the end of the 1930s. It analyzes these covenants in light of both the relevant common law of servitudes and the…


An Empirical Look at Churches in the Zoning Process

Stephen Clowney

116 Yale L.J. 859 (2007)


Living History: How Homeowners in a New Local Historic District Negotiate Their Legal Obligations

Tad Heuer

116 Yale L.J. 768 (2007)

American historic preservationists are increasingly emphasizing the need to preserve not only prominent landmarks, but also the vernacular architectural culture of "ordinary neighborhoods." Preserving such neighborhoods often requires convincing homeowners to agree to legal r…


Save the Cities, Stop the Suburbs?

Nicole Stelle Garnett

The fact that the word “sprawl” is uttered by curling the upper lip into a snarl captures some of the emotion generated by the current debate over American land use policy. Two recent books—Robert Bruegmann’s defense of sprawl and Joel Kotkin’s ambitious but short history of great cities p…


City, Heal Thyself

Robert C. Ellickson

In Save the Cities, Stop the Suburbs, Nicole Stelle Garnett perceptively ruminates about the future of American metropolitan areas. She rightly praises Robert Bruegmann for putting forward a steadfastly contrarian set of views on issues of suburban sprawl. Even readers who ultimately reject Bruegman…


Beyond City and Suburb: Thinking Regionally

Richard Briffault

“City” and “suburb” as they were known and debated in the twentieth century are no more. Increasingly, the key urban unit in metropolitan America is the region. Robert Bruegmann’s Sprawl: A Compact History, a chronicle of the melding of city and suburban land use patterns, illustrates this…


Save the Cities, Stop the Suburbs?

Nicole Stelle Garnett

116 Yale L.J. 598 (2006)

Sprawl: A Compact History

The City: A Global History


A Walk Along Willard: A Revised Look at Land Use Coordination in Pre-Zoning New Haven

Stephen Clowney

115 Yale L.J. 116 (2005)

This Note seeks to forge a richer understanding of the costs and benefits of zoning. To accomplish its goal, this Note assesses and critiques Andrew Cappel's A Walk Along Willow. This Note asks and answers three questions: (1) Are Cappel's findings about land use patterns rep…


Appurtenancy Reconceptualized: Managing Water in an Era of Scarcity

Olivia S. Choe

113 Yale L.J. 1909 (2004)


Until recently, the eastern United States has been blessed with an abundance of water; unlike the arid West, shortages in the East have historically been "rare and short-lived." During the past few decades, however, water has i…


A Missed Opportunity: Nonprofit Antitrust Liability in Virginia Vermiculite, Ltd. v. Historic Green Springs, Inc.

Olivia S. Choe

113 Yale L.J. 533 (2003)

The antitrust laws are meant to govern and promote competition. But how antitrust law should treat nonprofit organizations, whose objectives lie outside the commercial sphere but whose actions nevertheless have economic consequences, is not settled. The Fourth Circuit recent…


Billboards and Big Utilities: Borrowing Land-Use Concepts To Regulate "Nonconforming" Sources Under the Clean Air Act

Deepa Varadarajan

112 Yale L.J. 2553 (2003)

I have suggested the incorporation of amortization provisions as a potential solution to the continued emissions problem posed by coal-burning electric utilities built prior to the original Clean Air Act. Thirty years after the Act's passage, these problematic sources have n…


Architecture as Crime Control

Neal Kumar Kaytal

111 Yale L.J. 1039 (2002)

Building on work in architectural theory, Professor Katyal demonstrates how attention to cities, neighborhoods, and individual buildings can reduce criminal activity. The field of cyberlaw has been transformed by the insight that architecture can regulate behavior in cybersp…