Certificate(s): Public Interest and Social Justice Law (List C)
The Land Use seminar explores legal regulation of land use and land development. The seminar’s main focus is on local land use planning and controls, including comprehensive planning, zoning, subdivision controls, and planned communities. In-depth discussion of major issues in land use law including local environmental controls, affordable housing strategies, and many other city-based or county-based legal controls over how land can be used. The interaction between federal and state law is characteristic of the primarily locally-based land use law regulation in the United States. Certificate(s): Public Interest and Social Justice Law (List C)
This course focuses on California constitutional provisions, California statutes and California court decisions that pertain to environmental protection, natural resources and land use regulation. Topics covered include the California Environmental Quality Act, California Coastal Act, California Forest Practices Act, California Endangered Species Act, San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC), public trust law, surface water rights, California planning and zoning law, conditional use permits and variances, regulatory takings claims related to land use restrictions, and the use of specialized mandamus lawsuits in California to challenge the decisions of local and state environmental/land use agencies. A significant portion of the grade for this course involves analysis of the Complaint and trial court briefs in an environmental lawsuit challenging portions of the California High Speed Rail Project. The course will provide students with opportunities for careful constitutional, statutory and regulatory interpretation, synthesis of complex case law, negotiating agreements with environmental oversight agencies, and practice working with the unique standards of judicial review and mandamus proceedings associated with lawsuits challenging state and local administrative agency actions in California.