Although loeal governments have traditionally exereised almost exclusive regula tory eontrol over land development within their jurisdictions, throughout the 1970s state governments began to amass eonsiderablc authority over loeal land use deeisions. Studies of the implementation of these new programs, however, have generally had the drawbacks of not being integrated into theoretieal litera tures in the soeial seien ces and suffering from substantial mcthodologieal prob lems. On the basis of a review of literatures on poliey making by regulatory ageneies, the implementation of federal soeialldistributive programs, and the situational variables affecting ageney behavior, in this study we develop a general eoneeptual framework of the implementation proeess of regulatory statutes. The framework is then applied to the implementation of one of the more novel and eomprehensive state-levclland use statutes, the California Coastal Zone Conser vati on Act of 1972. In this undertaking we reeeived eonsiderable assistanee in the design stage and later in review of preliminary drafts of our report from aNational Advisory Committee eomposed of persons actively involved in the implementation ofland use poliey, representatives of groups affected by land use regulation, and seholars in the field. For serving on the eommittee we are indebted to James Carroll, California Couneil for Environmental and Eeonomie Balance; Paul Culhane, Department of Politieal Seience, U niversity of Houston; Grant Dehart, Office of Coastal Zone Management, Washington, D. C.