Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Real Property, Trust And Estate Law Journal


Third party standing to sue is essential in land use litigation. Questionable land use decisions will not be taken to court unless a third party can sue, but third party standing is limited. Standing law is fragmented, obstinate, excessively restrictive, and split between judicial and statutory requirements. Reform is necessary so that third parties can have access to court to protect public values. This Article explains why third party standing should be expanded, and it includes a conceptual model that can guide reform. It discusses conflicting third party standing rules in the Supreme Court, including the dominant restrictive rule that requires injury, and similar rules in the states. Nuisance-driven and statutory rules for third party standing in zoning cases are also discussed. I recommend reform that gives standing in court in land use cases to all participants in public hearings, and a gatekeeper function that blocks standing when it is bias-based.


Real Estate Law, Property Law, Land Use Litigation, Civil Procedure, Standing

Publication Citation

Daniel R. Mandelker, Standing To Sue In Land Use Litigation, 56 Real Prop. Prob. & Tr. J. 237 (2021)