As open space comes under increasing development pressure, existing-use zoning provides a direct and forthright way to preserve the line between urban and non-urban land use. Ultimately it may be the only practical means for protecting high-demand or sensitive areas such as wetlands, coastlines, lakeshores, floodplains, stream corridors, and pristine reservoir watersheds. This Article reviews the viability of existing-use zoning under United States Supreme Court interpretations of the Constitution's takings clause. It concludes that nothing in those interpretations disallows this straightforward approach to preserving our country's familiar patterns of land use and development.
John A. Humbach, Law and A New Land Ethic, 74 Minn. L. Rev. 339 (1989), http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/lawfaculty/95/.