Development of the Environment

The intersection of environmental, land use and natural resource law, on one hand, and the world of real estate development, on the other, is filled with complexities and trade-offs. Large-scale development projects almost always have measurable negative impacts on the environment, while at the same time often improving the lives of some people. As a result, the social and economic utility of projects is often difficult to determine. Lawyers are called upon to address the legal questions raised by development projects, but the answers are not always found in the law.

In past years, the topic students and readers of this Legal Encyclopedia have focused on major public works projects. Last year, we studied the myriad of environmental issues confronting the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

No decision has been made about the focus of the spring topic. Each week the topic will be visited by a someone with an informed perspective on the topic. The students and readers of this Legal Encyclopedia will interview our guests. In a separate fifty-minute session each week, the topic will discuss the information gleaned from the interviews and outside research. The final project will consist of individual or small group written projects. The topic will be graded on a pass/fail basis.






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