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Law Library

Local, County, and Municipal Law: Zoning & Planning

A guide to reaching local, county, and municipal law in the United States.


Under the "police power" doctrine inherited from the English common law, state governments and the local governments they charter may exercise certain power over private real property. In order to limit the nuisances that sometimes come with mixed-use urban living, cities use zoning laws to regulate the activities allowed in residential, commercial, and industrial areas. As a discipline, this is called "land-use planning." In the landmark case Euclid v. Ambler, 272 U.S. 365 (1926), the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that zoning ordinances were a property use of the state police power so long as they were enacted for the public welfare.

Library Resources


It would be impossible to link to all the local zoning boards in the United States. However, they are quite discovable on search engines like Google. Simply use the locality name plus some of the keywords below:

[County,state] board commission! district zoning planning building development adjustment "land use" 

Google Web Search