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Part I of this paper provides an overview of the dominant conservative legal doctrines and governing practices that limited planners' goals and strategies in New Haven during the period from 1907 through 1913, and that planning advocates sought to change. Part II provides a narrative of the New Haven planning movement prior to the publication of a 1910 report by Cass Gilbert, a well-known New York-based architect, and Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr., a nationally recognized city planner, on how best to improve New Haven's physical environment and infrastructure. To illustrate the difficulties facing the nascent planning movement in New Haven, Part II chronicles an early attempt by planning proponents to expand the creation and enforcement of one form of land use regulation, building lines. Part III discusses the Gilbert-Olmsted report, the reaction to it, and the events that led to the establishment of a new administrative agency in New Haven devoted to city planning. Parts II and III include not only those arguments about law and municipal structure made by participants in the New Haven movement, but also those made by attorneys and lay planning proponents associated with the national planning movement. Part IV summarizes the role of law and governance in limitating upon what planners during this era could propose and what the municipal administrative agencies that planners advocated could enact and enforce. In addition, Part IV describes the relationship between the early city planning movement and the centralized city planning that would occur in the years after World War II.