Publication Date


Document Type

Survey Article


During the survey period, both the courts and the legislature moved to resolve basic uncertainties as to the validity of land use, natural resource, and environmental protection laws and regulations. In Barrett v. Hamby, the court clarified the relationship between the taking clause and police power regulation and moved to a position closer to the mainstream of American law. The General Assembly sought to resolve any doubts as to the State's ability to legislate in the land use and natural resource protection field by adding language to the proposed editorial revision of the state constitution which specifically bases future land use and natural resource protection laws on the State's police power. The Georgia Supreme Court's validation of three recently passed natural resource protection laws as constitutional eased the concern over the court's past hostility toward planning laws and, in two landmark cases, the court recognized the implications of the energy crisis for public utility rate regulation and defined the limits of public ownership and control of the state's beaches.