Beyond the Eye of the Beholder: Aesthetics and Objectivity

The term “aesthetic legislation,” as used in this Note, refers only to legislation that bears upon the visual character of the physical environment, rather than to legislation on problems of noise and odor. The legal system has handled problems of the latter sort much better; only the sense of sight has been left unprotected. Perhaps one reason for its neglect is that in order to make an area visually pleasing positive programs, such as zoning, must be used, as well as passive prohibitions of such noxious uses as billboards. Noise and odor problems, which can be resolved by prohibitions alone, have been more easily addressed by the common law doctrine of nuisance.