Many municipalities are seeking to protect scenic assets through a combination of land use tools and implied police powers. These tools include comprehensive planning, subdivision and site plan approval, and in New York, execution of the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA). An example of scenic protection is North Elba, New York, where the local planning board denied Wal-Mart’s application to construct a store because the store would compromise the viewshed of a nearby mountain. This article reviews the SEQRA process in the Wal-Mart case and also reviews several other methods municipalities may use to protect environmental and aesthetic interests.
John R. Nolon, Protecting Scenic Assets: Regulations Based on Study, Expert Reports and Rationality, N.Y. L.J., June 17, 1998, at 5, http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/lawfaculty/725/.