Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Rutgers Law Professor and Preservationist John Payne, RIP

I had the privilege of working as a research assistant for Professor Payne while I was in law school at Rutgers. Nominally he was my torts professor (and later my Land Use prof) but he was also the premiere scholar on the Mount Laurel affordable housing cases. I spent months poring over court records and exhibits spanning four decades to provide background for a book on these groundbreaking affordable housing decisions.
John M. Payne, Board of Governors Distinguished Service Professor at Rutgers School of Law – Newark and key participant in the Mt. Laurel cases, died Wednesday of brain cancer at Rosary Hill Home in Hawthorne, NY. He was 67 years old. Services are private. A memorial service will be held at the law school in the fall.
. . . .
Payne was also a driving force for historic preservation in New Jersey and critical to protecting the work and legacy of American architect Frank Lloyd Wright. He was a former president of the national Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy and former director of Preservation New Jersey, the New Jersey partner of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

As an academic, Payne wrote and lectured extensively. In addition to his Mt. Laurel writing and articles on housing and historic preservation issues, he co-edited one of the most highly respected and widely-used casebooks on land development and land law use (Planning and Control of Land Development, 7th ed., 2008, with Daniel Mandelker et al.).

Prof. Payne cared deeply about the struggle to provide quality affordable housing fairly, as well as about historic preservation. I feel fortunate to have had the chance to know and learn from him. He will be missed.

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