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Planning and Property Rights. PSCI 4326 Planning Issues and Agriculture Lecture 5. Community relationship of private property. Governmental – judgments made by communities (mostly occurs in cities and counties) City: public corporation City charter (governing body)

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planning and property rights

Planning and Property Rights

PSCI 4326

Planning Issues and Agriculture

Lecture 5

community relationship of private property
Community relationship of private property

Governmental – judgments made by communities

(mostly occurs in cities and counties)

  • City: public corporation
    • City charter (governing body)
    • Types of cities (boundaries do change)
      • General law city ( 2/3 of all cities in CA operate on laws passed by the state charter adopted by state law)
      • Home rule of charter cities – adopt own charters based on state law.
  • County: not corporation – administrative arm of state in a geographical area ( court, voting, sheriff)
  • boundaries do not change
  • responsible to the state through Board of Supervisors.
cities within counties
Cities within Counties
  • Both cities and counties are responsible for planning (community judgments)
    • Authority comes from state to do so.
    • State will not judge or intervene. (It could but won’t.)
  • County is responsible for growth unless city is annexed. Then, city is responsible.
  • City and County share in common general legal status in relation to the state.
    • Unitary system: Relationship of cities and counties to the state
  • Sometimes cities and counties are pitted against each other for control, land use, and $.
constrained localism
Constrained Localism

– city and counties are limited as to how/where they plan.

  • 1 – intergovernmental constraints… state does set rules by federal government guidelines. (policies- golden rule -local jurisdictions)
  • 2 – legal constraints-court decisions (make judgments through due process)
    • Was process fair?
    • Did planning agency abuse discretionary judgments? (is final decision linked to evidence base)
  • 3 –Jurisdictional constraints-conflict with other local governmental agencies. (Cities against counties compete for tax $ and land use)
  • 4 – Political constraints (developers and environmental groups)
why do communities plan
Why do communities plan?
  • Negative externalities ( third party affected in a negative way – theft, vandalism, pollution)
  • Communities make judgments about their resources (creates controversy about issues like zoning)
  • Public benefit – parks, service, physical assets, benefits of all people regardless of whether they pay for services like fire, police, roads, schools.
goals of planning
Goals of Planning
  • To enable communities to determine their own future by making a general plan
  • To protect private property rights of all people
    • disagreements go to jurisdiction, like city council, then to court
  • To maintain community safety…police, fire
  • To engage in planning for predictability in what land can be used for.

Involves the relationship between the community and governmental agencies…. and discussions concerning best use and restrictions (zoning, urban limit lines, spheres of influence)

options for planning
Options for Planning

Less local control vs. more local control

StructuralConsolidation(e.g., County-City)

RegionalGovernment (Top-Down)

Collaborative Planning (Bottoms-Up)

Constrained Localism

Regional Planning (Top-Down)

Functional Consolidation (e.g., Planning)

Coordinated Planning (Bottoms-Up)


Planning and Property Rights


Public Ownership

Unrestricted Private Control

  • Judgement through planning
  • Eminent Domain
  • Police Power
private property is
Private property is:
  • Private ownership of land – individual or corporate – interest in its land is permanent
  • Have title to land
    • Can sell it, assign, lease or rent property,
    • use for any purpose within boundaries,
    • can take fruit of it,
    • inhabit/use/transfer,
    • land ownership brings with it a bundle of rights.
  • All rights between community and private parties are the same (determined by where you live)
  • State law defines property rights.
how far can regulation go
How far can regulation go?

Government can take over land (physically)

  • Eminent Domain
    • just cause for public purpose or interest
    • Just compensation to landowner
    • willing seller to willing buyer if landowner does not go to court
    • recent rulings concerning Eminent Domain… Economic Best Use
as police power grows property rights decline
As police power grows, property rights decline
  • With AG
    • Government exercises police power-protection of health, welfare and safety.
    • Basis for local planning assigned to the state to pass policies, regulate
  • Can’t you over-regulate?
    • Yes, government can for purposes of policy use police power to regulate (ex. Endangered species on private land).
development in california is a privilege not a right
Development in California is a privilege, not a right.
  • This statement has never been changed.
  • Property tax goes to local government for services.
  • Prop. 13 cut much of this revenue (school districts hit particularly hard)
  • Wealthier have access to better services (roads, safety)
goal of planning is to generate is this true induces growth which consumes ag land and open spaces
Goal of planning is to generate $$$$? Is this true? (induces growth which consumes ag land and open spaces)
  • Large retail establishments (Target, Home Depot, Auto malls) come in near freeways to generate revenue for cities through sales tax. This takes away from ag land use.
  • There is a drive for cities to grow because this produces more revenue (retail power centers)
character of growth
Character of Growth

Revenue system (public finance and tax system)

  • Issue: since 1970s, issue of population growth itself ( growth and public finance strained abilities of local govs.)
  • Growth has impact because of revenue.
  • Where to locate growth, how fast to allow growth, this leads to urban sprawl.

Growth and public finances

  • Implication on land resources
  • Other resources (air and water quality, housing, employment opportunities)
history of development
History of Development
  • Early on there was suburbanization:
    • Movement away from the center of the city.
    • (oldest area is railroad and industry area)
  • Technology
    • Transportation and infrastructure limited people
    • Only affluent could move
  • Early 1850s Electric trolley and Electric trains (development could only occur near trolleys and trains)
wwi world war i
WWI…World War I
  • People wanted to move beyond the cities.
    • Immigrants settled in the big cities for the opportunities that could be found there.
  • People move in and out, and a push is on.
    • Wealthy establish their own cities and communities.
  • In 1920s automobiles became the key to no limitations in travel – boundaries begin to spread.
  • Depression hits
wwii world war ii
WWII…World War II
  • Significant housing needs contributed to suburbanization.
  • People kept moving away from the center
  • Communities expanded… into Ag land
  • Catalyst for new community development
  • Encouraged people to keep moving… greener pastures
  • Again into unsettled land, open space, farmland
end of wwii baby boom
End of WWII…Baby Boom

Increased population…Needed space

  • Highways developed transportation link
    • Interhighway link all to metropolitan areas…beginning of commuters
  • GI Bill (affordable housing and education)
    • Helped people move to the suburbs
  • Airplanes
    • Opened up areas for more travel, more movement
  • This movement overall is called sprawl.
    • Each step along the way…gobbling up land. (Can follow roads to see historical patterns of growth)
  • Movement of people from cities to suburbs – commuting began.
    • People live in the suburbs but work in the city.
  • Businesses and employment spring up in new communities.
    • Brings more revenue to new cities.
    • People have more expendable income
      • places more demands for businesses that provide entertainment and products
movement to suburbs provides
Movement to suburbs provides…
  • Better quality of life
  • Less congestion
  • Less crime
  • Housing affordability
  • Open space
movement to suburbs
Movement to suburbs…
  • A pattern of movement is constant-
    • Malls follow the people, employment does not
    • Housing needs are always ahead of developers
growth here exurbs valley cities
Growth here: (exurbs- valley cities)

Exurbs…small, usually prosperous cities

Last 15 to 25 years

  • Merced County –
    • Los Banos - 78% growth
    • Livingston – 43% growth
  • San Joaquin County --
    • Tracy – 69%
    • Lathrop – 52.7%
  • Stanislaus –
    • Riverbank – 85.2%
    • Newman – 70.9%
    • Waterford – 45.1%
    • Patterson – 34.5%
bay area growth
Bay area growth
  • Santa Clara
    • Morgan Hill – 40.2%
    • Gilroy – 31.7%
  • San Benito
    • Hollister – 79.1% (travel to Salinas and Monterey)
movement south through the north central valley
Movement South through the North Central Valley…
  • 1- Type of sprawl - low density movement from high density areas, which leads to…
  • 2- Type of sprawl - patterns of development in communities where people move…better neighborhoods (affordability)
  • Both are important types of sprawl.
  • Movement is a threat to open space.
settlement patterns
Settlement patterns…
  • Low density – residential and commercial development
    • consuming land pattern,
    • dominance of single family detached dwelling
  • Why? Consumer preference.
    • People want more space, need more space,
    • consume land around them.
  • Gated community is fastest form of development.
    • It provides protection and space
settlement patterns continued
Settlement patterns continued…
  • New development is outward movement – loss of Ag land and open space
  • Constantly shifting community boundaries with no certainty of growth boundaries.
  • Planning system – tends to separate uses by zones
    • community makes decisions about what is allowed.
  • Segregated zoning- area of community by purpose
    • Example – single or multiple family residential or commercial
conflicts with agriculture land use
Conflicts with Agriculture land use…

Urban edge keeps moving – always an area of conflict.

Myth: People will be people, government should not interfere. We’re not using up our farmland. Let market take care of it.

  • American Farmland Trust –
    • gobbling up land –
    • problem is government is not involved enough.
  • Sprawl is a reality – will have an impact on Ag – should we be concerned?
strategies for addressing farmland
Strategies for Addressing Farmland

Public Regulation vs. Less Regulation

Planning / Regulation

Right to Farm

Conservation Easements and TDR

Public Purchase of Land


Smart Growth

Urban Limit Lines

Williamson Act

Economic Development

Sustainable Agriculture

the framework for planning
The Framework for Planning

General Plan: Constitution for

Local Planning and Development)

Zoning: Districts and

Development Standards