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The famous New York case of Golden v. Ramapo helped create the movement towards smart growth thirty years ago. Ramapo, like most other towns in New York struggled with the familiar quandary of how to balance the pressures of absorbing growth while still controlling urban sprawl. Ramapo’s solution, to greatly reduce development in its jurisdiction for eighteen years in order to research more efficient development methods, sparked much controversy with local land owners. The United States Court of Appeals, in one of New York’s most significant contributions to smart growth, upheld Ramapo’s plan and created a groundbreaking precedent still widely followed today.

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