Article Title

Rural Zoning in Nebraska


The purpose of this comment is to examine the rural problems in Nebraska and the possible solutions available through zoning. Zoning has evolved from the police power reserved to the individual states by the United States Constitution, subject to certain constitutional limitations and safeguards. Thus, to determine the absolute limits of valid zoning legislation, an examination must be made of the United States Supreme Court's interpretation of the police power. Since zoning is a power exercised by the individual states, however, the absolute limits allowed by the federal constitution may be further narrowed and constricted by state law, as interpreted by local courts. The attitude of the Nebraska Supreme Court toward zoning must also be examined, therefore, and compared with the federal limitations before any meaningful analysis can be obtained. Revisions of present Nebraska rural zoning statutes are suggested in light of such examination and consideration of the Nebraska Supreme Court's interpretation of the zoning power. By timely and appropriate action through zoning, nonfarm uses can be guided to less fertile lands; better soils for farming can be reserved; and both agricultural and urban uses can continue their growth. While Nebraska rural areas have not been acutely affected by the urban demands, to do nothing would be a serious mistake. With effective rural zoning, the transition from rural to urban uses can be controlled to allow continued agricultural and recreational development.

I. Introduction

II. The Development of the Federal Concept of Zoning

III. The Zoning Power as Viewed by the Nebraska Supreme Court

IV. The Need for Rural Zoning in Nebraska … A. Control of Urbanization … B. Prevention of Unrealistic Tax Assessment and Unequal Cost of Government Services … C. Development of Recreational Areas

V. Suggested Legislation for Rural Areas … A. Zoning Provisions … B. Revisions to Supplement Zoning Activities

VI. Conclusion