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Land Use


Understanding Land Use Planning

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Local agency officials frequently make decisions on what people may and may not do with their property. 

The Institute has prepared three resources accessible that offer the best overview of the local land use decision-making process:

  • Understanding the Basics of Land Use Decision-making
  • Glossary of Land Use Terms
  • The Nuts and Bolts of Project Review

Another helpful resource for both officials and the public that may wish to weigh in on a particular decision is the Institute’s one-page, plain-language explanation of common land use actions (available in both English and Spanish). See link at the right.

For more information about land use and related issues, please visit the sustainability section of the Institute’s website. See link at right.


Land Use Videos

Learn about land use from Institute volunteer and former agency counsel, Michael Martello. These videos capture a range of topics, including non-conforming land use, general plans, permits, variances and land use findings.


Regulatory Takings and Land Use Regulation: A Primer for Public Agency Staff

To what extent does land use regulation really amount to an unconstitutional taking of property? That is the subject of Regulatory Takings and Land Use Regulation: A Primer for Public Agency Staff.


Land Use Decision-making and Ethics Issues

Newly elected officials are wise to be aware of restrictions on their ability to participate in land use decisions if the decision may affect the officials’ economic interest. 

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