Vanderbilt Law Review


Otis J. Bouwsma

First Page



A body of law does not suddenly spring up. A period of development is required during which there is a gradual evolution of a comprehensive and coherent body of law. So, the law of zoning did not go immediately from the one extreme of completely unregulated city development to the other extreme of closely restricted city planning and zoning. Throughout the years tremendous changes in living conditions were taking place; sign board regulation was developing; and cities were prohibiting noxious uses of property for the benefit of the whole community. These things paved the way for the holding in Village of Euclid v. Ambler. That decision did not, of course, provide a full-grown body of law. Our law of zoning has taken a number of years to develop, and is still being developed by the flow of judicial decisions. That development has now occurred to the point where it seems worthwhile to examine some of its phases. This paper will treat only one phase of the topic--the extraterritorial exercise of the zoning power; that is, the exercise of the zoning power of a municipality outside the corporate boundaries. Since this area has not been widely explored by the courts, a portion of the argument is necessarily presented by way of analogy.