Jeffrey Evans Stake
Indiana University Maurer School of Law
This essay discusses the land-use doctrines of real covenants, equitable servitudes, easements, profits, and licenses. As it is limited to the private arrangements regarding the use of land, perhaps 'land promises' would describe it best. Private land-use controls remain a viable means of controlling externalities, even in this era of public zoning, because they can be more carefully tailored to particular situations and are supported by more meaningful 'consent' of the governed. Very little of this land use law has received proper economic treatment. Nevertheless, this essay suggests economic rationales for some of the requirements and distinctions in the rules, many of which are under attack by reformers as being overly complicated. In short, the essay attempts to make economic sense of the complex law of land promises.
Date posted: September 2, 1998
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