Alternative Dispute Resolution in Land Use Disputes — Two Continents and Two Approaches
The Urban Lawyer, Vol. 43, No. 4, p. 1036, Fall 2011
26 Pages Posted: 8 Mar 2012
Date Written: November 17, 2011
This paper notes the increasing use of alternative dispute resolution ("ADR"), which includes negotiations among parties, mediation, and arbitration) generally and specifically examines its use in resolving planning controversies in two jurisdictions -- England and Wales in the United Kingdom and the State of Oregon in the United States. ADR is less expensive, more efficient, and may well result in a more satisfactory outcome to the parties. In the United States, the siting of locally unwanted land uses ("LULUs"), property rights, and litigation pose profound conflicts for the land use process. In the United Kingdom, initial issuance of permits without hearings, local resistance to major public works projects (such as airport runways and power plants) and lengthy and costly planning inquiries are similar concerns. ADR may be helpful in the resolution of these disputes.
After briefly examining the legal structure of the two planning systems, the authors provide concrete examples of ADR in Oregon (a system that tends to be more informal and geared to solutions in individual cases) and examine the proposed new structure of ADR in planning law in the United Kingdom, including the recent and thoughtful "green paper" on the subject.
The two systems are compared and recommendations are provided.
Keywords: alternative dispute resolution, land use planning, Oregon, United Kingdom
JEL Classification: R52
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation