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Constitutional Limitations on Planning and Zoning

This course introduces the constitutional limitations of government and the rights of individuals with respect to planning and zoning. The course will help planning officials understand that their actions are limited by provisions in the U.S. and state constitutions.

  • 61 Mins
  • Published

This course builds upon the basic legal framework to describe specific legal concepts and procedures that planning bodies are subject to. The constitutional limitations discussed in this course include due process, equal protection, eminent domain and just compensation (takings), freedom of speech and freedom of religion. 

This course distinguishes between procedural due process and substantive due process. We provide common examples for each type of due process as they appear in the planning profession.  While due process can be complex, this course describes examples of due process violations, as well as relevant case law that helps make these concepts clearer. 

Similar to due process requirements, takings can be just as difficult of a concept to grasp.  We discuss important U.S. Supreme Court decisions to help bring clarity to how the law has evolved. The same is true for Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Religion. Planning officials must recognize  federal statutes and court decisions to ensure that land use decisions do not increase legal risk to the municipal government.