Significance Recent Takings Rulings for Implementation of the Georgia Planning Act
At a joint meeting of the Georgia and South Carolina Planning Associations in the fall of 1994, a number of planners expressed dismay that city and county attorneys are advising elected officials against the adoption of such traditional zoning tools as setbacks and buffers as well as more innovative surface and groundwater protection options due to recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings. While these decisions impose limits on controls, they also affirm the public interest in, and legitimacy of, land use regulation. They should not discourage the use of carefully drafted regulations and policies protecting water resources critical to the economy and environmental health of a community. This piece discusses the recent Supreme Court cases and outlines a variety of water resource protection tools with suggestions on how local governments can avoid, or prevail in, legal challenges to them.