There is growing evidence that the recent boom in California real estate prices is attributable in significant part to legal events of the 1970’s. Several state enactments in the early part of the decade armed California environmentalists with powerful legal techniques for slowing or stopping new development. Moreover, a series of decisions by the California Supreme Court stripped away many previously perceived constitutional constraints on local land-use policies. These judicial decisions enabled the cities and counties of California to levy heavier taxes on new development and, by making local officials less fearful that their zoning restrictions would be declared unconstitutional, contributed to tighter and tighter local controls on the supply of housing.
Southern California Law Review