Preservation of America’s Open Space: Proposal for a National Land-Use Commission

Environmental hazards may be divided into four types: those affecting air, those affecting water, those affecting quietude, and those affecting landscape. This Article will focus on the last of these hazards and will analyze a single aspect of it: the continuing loss of open-space lands. I suggest that this loss can be controlled only if we are willing, in the next decade, to review and to overhaul our entire basic system of land use and tax laws, accepting no present law as sacred other than the constitutional guarantee of just compensation for the taking of private property.