State control of land use

From HousingWiki


In US context, "State" means state-level government, as opposed to Federal (National) or local. 

However, many of the issues and arguments applicable to [US] state-level control may be applied to 'State' as in national control elsewhere. In other words, it means non-local. 


Legal Issues

Intrastate Preemption

Boston University Law Review, Vol. 87, No. 5, pp. 1113-76, December 2007

64 Pages

Posted: 20 Jun 2007

Last revised: 18 Jan 2008

Paul A. Diller

Willamette University College of Law



City policy experimentation is a catalyst for change at the state and national levels. From gay rights to the environment to public health, cities and other forms of local government are adopting new and innovative policies in the wake of inaction by the higher levels of government. The legality of these policies is frequently challenged, however, by claims that a city's ordinance has been preempted by state law. Despite the crucial importance of intrastate preemption to the question of city power, it has heretofore received scant academic attention. This paper demonstrates how, as currently applied, intrastate preemption dampens local policy innovation, which has a negative effect on the state and national political processes. It argues that state courts, drawing on their institutional advantages, should take a new approach to intrastate preemption that facilitates good-faith policy experimentation by cities while discouraging parochial and exclusionary municipal action.




see SB35 for 2017-18 legislative proposal to increase state's ability to encourage and enforce housing goals in places where there is deemed to be insufficient housing production. 

The office of the sponsoring official, Senator Scott Wiener, has this statement on local control: [citation needed].

"every community has a civic responsibility to build housing. Local control should be used to determine HOW you build enough housing within your community, not whether you have to."

See particularly the analyses and proposals from UC Berkeley's Terner Center for Housing Innovation: Galante et al [2016], and Reid et al [2017]. 

Massachusetts Chapter 40B, "Anti-Snob Law"

In 1969 Massachusetts enacted the Massachusetts Comprehensive Permit Act: Chapter 40B, originally referred to as the anti-snob zoning law. Under this statute, in municipalities with less than 10% affordable housing, a developer of affordable housing may seek waiver of local zoning and other requirements from the local zoning board of appeals, with review available from the state Housing Appeals Committee if the waiver is denied. Similar laws are in place in other parts of the United States (e.g., Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Illinois), although their effectiveness is disputed.