Social Networking and Land Use Planning Regulation: Practical Benefits, Pitfalls and Ethical Considerations
Touro College - Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center
September 1, 2010
Pace Law Review, Vol. 31, No. 1, 2011
Albany Law School Research Paper No. 10-25
This article explores how social networking sites have been used or might be used in the land use context. Part I focuses on the use of social networking for land use planning and zoning. It includes a discussion of the pros and cons of the use of social networking sites to present public information and to gather public input and invite general participation in the process, as well as to provide notice to the public of forthcoming government decision-making. This section offers concrete examples of how this technology is currently being used in the land use context. Part II focuses on the professional ethical considerations of the various players in the land use game as it specifically relates to the use of social networking sites. For lawyers, the applicable Rules of Professional Conduct are examined and for Planners, the Code of Ethics of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) is explored for guidance. The article concludes with a warning that that although there are benefits to the use of social networking tools for land use planning and zoning initiatives, attorneys, government agencies, planners and others should use caution when employing these tools, being certain to weigh ethics and professionalism implications, social justice goals and public participation mandates and aspirations against the advantages of these tools, and the uncertainty of how courts might apply myriad legal mandates in cyberspace.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 43
Keywords: social networking, facebook, linkedin, internet, ethics, professionalism, land use, zoning, social justice, paublic participation, virtual, wiki, ex parte, myspace, blog, municipal law
JEL Classification: K11, K19Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: October 12, 2010 ; Last revised: March 12, 2011
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