State governments vest great authority in local governments to decide how and where private development shall occur, and in the alternative, where to preserve open land. The New York state legislature recognizes the importance of protecting open lands, and as such, has created several laws to facilitate local municipal action. Several methods exist that municipal government may use to accomplish this goal and this article provides several examples. For instance, the New York Court of Appeals, in the case of Bonnie Briar Syndicate, Inc. v. Town of Mamaroneck, held that a local zoning ordinance, which rezoned a large area for strict recreational use, was valid despite a challenge from a local golf course owner. This example is one of several demonstrations where communities practice smart growth to curb unfettered development in an organized and well-planned manner.
John R. Nolon, Preserving Open Lands: Local Zoning and Financing Authority Work Together, New York Law Journal, Dec. 15, 1999, at 5.