Planning and Zoning 101

Informational Memo

Published: January 25, 2019

Planning and Zoning 101
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This material contains general information; it should not be used as a substitute for legal advice. Any attorney general opinions cited in this material are available on request from the League’s Research and Information Service staff.

Learn the basics of why and how cities engage in land use planning and regulation, and why local officials should take time to carefully and conscientiously create land use laws. Tools discussed include comprehensive land use plans and zoning ordinances, including the use of zoning districts and maps. Find a graphic of a land use pyramid illustrating levels of city council discretion to decide at various stages in these processes.