the power or right of the government to control and regulate numerous activities to protect the health, safety, morals and general welfare of the community. This power is exercised by governments at all levels – federal, state, county, and city.
Examples of federal and state regulation would encompass areas such as environmental protection, protected species acts, and protection of wetlands. Local governments concentrate on land use regulations, property use restrictions, and prohibition of certain activities by landowners.
This is one of the four powers of government which institutes public limitations on real property. The four powers are: Police power, Eminent domain, Taxation, and Escheat, remembered by the acronym PETE.