Land Use & Zoning

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Land use planning links the local vision for the community with the recognized best practices that will shape future development.


This creates a framework from which local decisions and planning decisions are made. The framework directs

  • land use regulations

  • building codes

  • natural hazards planning

  • natural resources management

  • design standards

  • a variety of other local decisions


Zoning is generally the main method of land use regulation and is used to implement a land use plan. Zoning can be enacted in conjunction with a land use plan. When this happens, the land use plan provides evidence that zoning ordinances and zoning decisions support public welfare. Zoning regulations regulate land according to the uses that may be conducted there. Almost every major urban area in the United States has zoning or a similar form of land use regulation. 


In the past, zoning has separated land uses into three broad categories:

  1. residential

  2. commercial

  3. industrial


These zoning uses need to be separated to prevent negative impacts to neighboring land uses that may be incompatible. Zoning is the main way to reach the goals of a land use plan. However, a number of innovative tools and regulations can be used together with traditional zoning to help communities reach their vision.


We have a tremendous amount of expertise and experience in land use planning, zoning and other resources. We want to help your community achieve your growth and development goals and achieve your visions for the future.