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Local Authority

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Local authority to regulate land use derives from the police power — the prerogative to act to promote the health, safety and welfare of the community. Historically local agencies have pioneered efforts to protect health and safety. For example, beginning in the early 1900s, municipalities established sewer systems and sanitation facilities to control waste and reduce infectious disease.These local efforts eventually led to state and federal sanitation and water-quality policies.  More recently, state restrictions on air pollution and smoking grew out of local initiatives to protect public health.

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