Land use is complex—but we're here to help! A range of services are available to assist members with the unique concerns around land use:
Staff is available to answer questions from elected officials, city managers, attorneys, and zoning administrators. Whether you are in the first stages of land use planning, or think a problem might develop down the road, please call staff for assistance.
Written materials are available on topics including zoning, sign ordinances, regulating adult uses, land use claims, findings of fact, public hearings, the 60-day rule, development fees, and more.If you find that these materials either don't answer all your questions—or perhaps create new ones—please contact us.
Course LU501—Land Use Basics: Grasping the Ground Rules
Cities must consider many perspectives and priorities when making land use decisions, and costly conflicts can occur when cities don’t follow the ground rules. In this course, you will reflect on land use challenges that your city has faced and the consequences that can result when a city oversteps its authority. You’ll consider typical land use situations where you’ll be asked to identify what role the city is playing and determine what information can be considered when making land use decisions. Recognizing your city's role and how much authority it has can help your city avoid expensive lawsuits, minimize controversy, and make land use decisions less confusing.
Course LU502—Creating the Ground Rules: Developing Land Use Plans and Laws
Cities have broad powers to set a community vision and create land use regulations to achieve it. However, cities have different needs and approach planning and land use regulation in different ways. The approach any city takes toward land use planning and regulation is ultimately a policy choice for each city to make. In this course, you will learn about a five-step model to guide your city’s approach to land use planning and how to engage the public throughout the community planning process. You'll also complete activities that will help you develop goals, strategies, and regulations to effectively carry out your community’s vision for the future. Proactive planning and regularly updating laws can minimize controversy and help cities make legally defensible land use decisions.