Law and a New Land Ethic

32 Pages Posted: 17 Apr 2022

Date Written: April 11, 1989


As open space comes under increasing development pressure, existing-use zoning provides a direct and forthright way to preserve the line between urban and non-urban land use. Ultimately it may be the only practical means for protecting high-demand or sensitive areas such as wetlands, coastlines, lakeshores, fioodplains, stream corridors, and pristine reservoir watersheds. This Article reviews the viability of existing-use zoning under United States Supreme Court interpretations of the Constitution's takings clause. It concludes that there is nothing in those interpretations that would disallow this straightforward approach to preserving our country's familiar patterns of land use and development

Keywords: land use law, takings clause, land development, preservation, conservation, environmental protection, zoning

Suggested Citation

Humbach, John A., Law and a New Land Ethic (April 11, 1989). Minnesota Law Review, Vol. 74, No. 339, 1989, Available at SSRN:

John A. Humbach (Contact Author)

Pace University School of Law ( email )

78 North Broadway
White Plains, NY 10603
United States
(914) 422-4239 (Phone)
(914) 422-4015 (Fax)


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