At this time Russia along with other countries formed in the territory of the former Soviet Union is undergoing the difficult transition from socialism which negated market-based relations to a system built on these very relations. This report describes specific aspects of this transition with respect to land-use legislation an town-planning. First of all, one should understand that until recently Russia had no land-use legislation and did not need such legislation. The reasons for this seemingly paradoxical situation are simple. For a long time all land was owned by the state. A solitary owner does not need laws, because these laws regulate the relations of different and equal parties. The state acted as one ìsupremeî ruler and thus relations in connection with land use had the nature of orders and subordination. This arrangement did not need any laws and was based solely on administrative command methods. Decisions took the form of multiple government resolutions, departmental instructions, norms and orders but not a single law on land use was in place. With the appearance of a variety of land owners, including local governments and private individuals, the need for land-use laws became necessary. The first town-planning law was passed in 1992 to be later succeeded by the Town-Planning Code of the Russian Federation in 1997. Currently, several draft laws in this area are being reviewed. Analysis of the current transition phase shows that the central problem is a conflict between understanding and interests: understanding what should be done and how to do implement efficient reforms in the interest of the entire society, and the narrow departmental interests of administrations which attempt to preserve and expand their authority and thus block and distort the essence of reforms.