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The U.S. Supreme Court’s land use jurisprudence establishes that arbitrary land use regulations violate the doctrine of substantive due process. Ultra vires land use regulations-those regulations that exceed the delegated authority of the regulating agency under state law-represent a particular type of arbitrary land use regulation. Lower federal courts that have examined such regulations are split on the question whether they violate substantive due process. This article contrasts two federal court of appeals cases in which property owners alleged that a local government agency deprived them of property without due process of law by enforcing an ultra vires land use regulation against them. The article concludes that, consistent with Supreme Court precedent, ultra vires land use regulations must violate the substantive due process rights of the individuals whom they affect.

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Land Use Law Commons



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