In New York, local officials determine the shape and pace of land development, decide the economic fate of land owners and are the stewards of our natural resources. The system of local control of land use has remained relatively static since it was first created by the state legislature over seven decades ago. Today, however, it is under siege. Its strength is being sapped by preemptive state and federal regulations; it is being attacked by environmentalists and developers alike. The state's highest court has called for fundamental reform.
John R. Nolon, Local Land Use Control in New York: An Aging Citadel Under Siege, N.Y. St. B.J., July/Aug. 1992, at 38, http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/lawfaculty/609/.