Regulating Controversial Land Uses

16 Pages Posted: 26 Apr 2011 Last revised: 28 Jan 2014

See all articles by Patricia Salkin

Patricia Salkin

Touro College - Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center

Date Written: Spring 2011


While the definition of what may constitute a controversial land use differs from community to community, the bottom line is that land use controls have been attempting to regulate these uses since the advent of zoning (and through nuisance law before that). When regulating many types of controversial land uses, constitutional issues may come into play and federal and state preemption issues may arise. However, local governments typically have wide discretion in designing standards and regulations for many types of controversial uses. This article explores four typically controversial uses - off-campus fraternity and sorority housing, tattoo parlors, medical marijuana and pawn shops - to demonstrate the types of regulations that may and may not be appropriate when it comes to planning and zoning laws.

Keywords: zoning, land use regulation, planning law, tattoo parlors, fraternirty house, sorority house, student housing, medical marijuana, pawn shops, First Amendment, preemption, nuisanace

JEL Classification: K11

Suggested Citation

Salkin, Patricia E., Regulating Controversial Land Uses (Spring 2011). Real Estate Law Journal, Vol. 39, p. 526, 2011; Touro Law Center Legal Studies Research Paper Series; Albany Law School Research Paper No. 6, 2011-2012. Available at SSRN:

Patricia E. Salkin (Contact Author)

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

225 Eastview Drive
Central Islip, NY 11722
United States

Register to save articles to
your library


Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics