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VT Law to Look at What Matters in Housing: Co-Location

February 10, 2014

CONTACT: Peter Glenshaw, Director of Communications, Vermont Law School
Office: 802-831-1318, cell: 603-738-8487, home: 603-795-4764,

SOUTH ROYALTON, Vt., Feb. 10, 2014—The potential for housing policy transformation rests in understanding how proximity to other land uses and land users affects value, and is the subject of an annual lecture on planning and the law to be held at Vermont Law School on Thursday, Feb. 13. The event is free and open to the public and press.

This proximity, or co-location, matters most when it comes to housing policy, according to guest lecturer Lee Fennell, Max Pam Professor of Law and Herbert and Marjorie Fried Research Scholar at the University of Chicago Law School. In her talk at Vermont Law, “Co-Location, Co-Location, Co-Location: Land Use and Housing Priorities Reimagined,” Fennell will examine how taking the idea of co-location seriously could advance housing policy and transform our understanding of land use possibilities and priorities.

“A home’s value depends not just on the quality of its construction or its GPS coordinates, but also, and most crucially, on nearby land uses and land users–that is, co-location,” said Fennell. “Recognizing the significance of co-location sheds new light on a wide range of hot-button issues, from affordable housing policy to eminent domain.”

Fennell added that, for example, “the minimum acceptable size of a housing unit may depend crucially on the facilities and services that are available in the immediate surrounding area. More broadly, choices to introduce housing into, or displace housing from, particular areas should be sensitive to the positive or negative synergies that may be produced or destroyed when particular combinations of land uses are assembled or broken apart.”

Sponsored by the Vermont Law Land Use Institute with the American Planning Association Northern New England Chapter, the 10th Annual Norman Williams Distinguished Lecture in Land Use Planning and the Law will be held at 5:45 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 13, in the Chase Community Center on the Vermont Law School campus. The series is named for Norman Williams, who came to the school in 1975 after a long and distinguished career in public service and teaching, particularly in the area of land use planning, and who played a key role in founding the Vermont Law Environmental Law Center. The lecture series is a gift of Frances Yates, trustee of Vermont Law School, in memory of both Professor Williams and Anya ’94 and Charles Yates ’93.


Vermont Law School, a private, independent institution, has the top-ranked environmental law program and one of the top-ranked clinical training programs in the nation, according to U.S.News & World Report. VLS offers a Juris Doctor curriculum that emphasizes public service; two Master’s Degrees (Master of Environmental Law and Policy, and Master of Energy Regulation and Law), and three post-JD degrees—LLM in American Legal Studies (for foreign-trained lawyers), LLM in Energy Law, and LLM in Environmental Law. The school features innovative experiential programs and is home to the Environmental Law Center, the South Royalton Legal Clinic, and the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic. For more information, visit, find us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter.

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