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50 Ky. L.J. 273 (1961-1962)
The Zoning Board of Adjustment: A Case Study in Misrule

handle is hein.journals/kentlj50 and id is 279 raw text is: The Zoning Board of Adjustment:
A Case Study in Misrule
By JESSE DuKEmmiR, J1.
The question must be asked seriously whether zoning, as
it is currently being practiced, is endangering our democratic
institutions. A second question stemming from the first is:
Is zoning increasingly becoming the rule of man rather than
the rule of law? I would be inclined to answer both questions
affirmatively. -Walter Blucher.1
Whether through ignorance of the law, political in-
fluence, the belief that mistakes in legislation can be cured
through administrative relief, or magnification of power for
purposes of prestige, the board of appeals in many cities has
become a device of danger rather than safety.-John W. Reps.2
Within the last two decades observers of the land planning
process have suspected that something has gone wrong with the
zoning board of adjustment. It was originally conceived as a
safety valve, as a device to insure that broad zoning regula-
tions do not operate inequitably on particular parcels of land.
It acts as a court of special privilege, granting dispensations to
individuals when compliance with the zoning law results in un-
necessary hardship. With increasing vigor critics have charged
that boards of adjustment pay little attention to the legal limita-
tions on their powers and operate without safeguards adequate to
assure citizens of equal treatment. These are serious charges.
They go to competence, to fairness, to responsibility. But to date,
the proffered supporting evidence has been slim.
* Professor of Law, University of Kentucky; Visiting Professor of Law, Uni-
versity of California at Los Angeles (Spring, 1962).
 LL.B. 1962, University of Kentucky.
I Blucher, Is Zoning Wagging the Dog?, in Planning 96 (1955
2 Reps, Discretionary Powers of the Board of Zoning Appeal, 20 Law &
Contemp. Prob. 280, 282 (1955).

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