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Social Networking and Land Use Planning Regulation: Practical Benefits, Pitfalls and Ethical Considerations

41 Pages Posted: 12 Oct 2010 Last revised: 25 Apr 2015

Patricia Salkin

Touro College - Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center

Date Written: September 1, 2010

Abstract

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.

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, K19

Suggested Citation

Salkin, Patricia, Social Networking and Land Use Planning Regulation: Practical Benefits, Pitfalls and Ethical Considerations (September 1, 2010). Pace Law Review, Vol. 31, No. 1, 2011; Albany Law School Research Paper No. 10-25. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1690835

Patricia E. Salkin (Contact Author)

Touro College - Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center ( email )

225 Eastview Drive
Central Islip, NY 11722
United States

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