Zoned Out! — New York and California Edition

What is smelly, makes some people happy but others very irate, and may be zoned out of cities?

A) Fracking for natural gas

B) Medical marijuana

C) All of the above

In opposite ends of the country, state courts this week upheld the cities’ ability to use zoning regulations to keep out two controversial activities regulated at the state level: medical marijuana dispensaries and fracking for natural gas.

In California, the state Supreme Court ruled that cities may pass zoning regulations to keep out medical marijuana dispensaries. The ruling upheld a ban by the city of Riverside, although many more local governments are expected to adopt such bans now that they have been tested in court. In New York, the Supreme Court, Appellate Division, upheld cities’ power to zone out fracking in a high-profile case involving the zoning regulation of the city of Drysden. Industry, which argues that state oil and gas regulations preempt local regulations, plans to appeal.


About Rachel Proctor May

Rachel Proctor May is a 2L at HLS. Before law school, she was policy director for the mayor pro tem of Austin, Texas, and covered the environment and education for the Austin Chronicle.
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