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Georgetown Law Library

Land Use Law Research Guide

This guide is for students conducting introductory research in the area of land use law, including zoning.


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Primary Law

Cases, Statutes, and Regulations

The Georgetown Law Library's research guides and tutorials provide information on researching cases, statutes, and regulations generally:

Additional sources for finding land use and zoning laws include the following:

Municipal Codes

There is no single source where you can find any/all municipal codes. The following is a list of places to check if looking for the codes, ordinances, bylaws, or measures of a specific locality or municipality. Always check any available currency information in the source you're referencing.

The Law Library of Congress also has a research guide on this topic, Municipal Codes: A Beginner's Guide (navigate using the menu on the left); this guide is particularly helpful if you are looking for older or superseded municipal codes, sample codes and guidance, or related secondary sources.

Building Codes

States and municipalities generally adopt commercially published building codes (e.g., building, fire, electrical codes, et cetera). The complete text of these codes is not always incorporated into the state or municipal code, which may only contain information on the adoption of the code and/or any changes made by the state or municipality. To find the full text of the code, you may need to obtain a copy from a library. Resources for researching building codes include the following:

Case Law Research Tutorial

Tutorial "play" tile. 

Statutory Research Tutorial

Includes videos covering topics "What are Statutes and Where to Find Them," "Anatomy of a Code," "Finding Statutes Online," "Finding Statutes Using Print," and "Updating and Currency."

Administrative Law Research Tutorial

Tutorial "play" tile.