Land Use & Environment


Land Use and Environment

Cities and counties can have an enormous impact in shaping the physical environment of neighborhoods and the health and well-being of their residents. The Land Use and Environment component of the Sustainability program provides resources to support local officials in their efforts to plan and develop healthy communities that are socially, economically, environmentally and fiscally sustainable. Sustainable Communities Program Flier and Land Use Team Members information on the 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.


Land Use Whitepapers & Tip Sheets

Primers, issue briefs and other short pieces on land use.


Understanding the Basics of Land Use and Planning: The Nuts and Bolts of Project Review (Tab)

This handy, four-page pamphlet summarizes the “nuts and bolts” of the process of reviewing a typical application for development. The cardstock format is portable enough to keep with public agency agenda packets and the like.


Updating the General Plan

The general plan is one of the most important guiding documents that a community has.  Keeping the general plan up to date and consistent with the community’s goals can guide new development and help meet state requirements.  Access resources to help your community update its general plan.


Participating Effectively in the Planning Process

Engaging your community in the planning process is often vital to the success of a project.  Various resources to support effective public participation and engaging your community in planning, housing and economic development are available from ILG’s Public Engagement program.


Planning for Housing in the Community

Ensuring that all current and future members of a community have access to housing is an important part of planning.  A well planned community offers residents a range of affordable and convenient housing choices. Access resources and case stories here.


Regional Planning

Access information and essential resources to help understand and navigate the regional planning process in California, including information on SB 375 and regional planning.


Land Use Planning Organizations & Websites

The organizations below give direction, provide guidance or offer resources on land use and planning in California.