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Although all land use is local, few problems require the more urgent attention of state legislators than that of land use. How land is used has important economic, social and environmental consequences that may affect all residents of a state. States must take on more active roles as coordinators and conveners in the arena of land use planning if they are to address the challenges of growth, development and environmental protection in urban and rural areas. In so doing, they have to tread cautiously and thoughtfully given the historically entrenched bias towards local control of land use decisions and the potential for intergovernmental distrust and animosity (Nicholas 1999).


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