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Aesthetics, Community Character, and the Law (PAS 489/490)

By Christopher J. Duerksen, R. Matthew Goebel

A timely update on laws and legal tools for planners and citizens who want to preserve community character.

Published by APA Planning Advisory Service, 1999

Format: Paperback, 154 pp.

ISBN: 978-1-884829-34-5

Quick order code: P489

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Today's planners use myriad tools and techniques to identify and protect what is special about their communities: historic preservation ordinances, improved sign controls, computerized viewshed protection regulations, tree-planting and landscaping requirements, cell tower controls, and more. As the level of preservation activity has increased dramatically, so has the number of court cases challenging aesthetic-based regulation.

This report, an extensively updated and revised edition of PAS Report 399, will help land-use planners and citizens understand the law of aesthetics and the legal tools available to help their communities maintain their special features and sense of place. It covers design review, view protection, tree protection, sign controls, and telecommunications facilities, including major updates based on recent developments in the law and in planning practice.

This report is cosponsored by Scenic America, a national nonprofit organization that works to preserve natural beauty and distinctive community character. It has helped citizens and public officials in communities nationwide protect their scenic heritage. For more information, visit their website at

Table of Contents