Schultz, Cheryl National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, University of California, Santa Barbara, California.
Last reviewed:October 2020
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- Local-level planning
- State-level planning
- National-level policies
- From city to landscape
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
The long-term development or conservation of an area and the establishment of a relationship between local objectives and regional goals. Land-use planning (see illustration) is often guided by laws and regulations. The legal basis of land-use regulation in the United States is the police power of a city (or county) to protect the health, safety, and welfare of its residents. The major instrument for current land-use planning is the establishment of zones that divide an area into districts which are subject to specified regulations. Although land-use planning is sometimes done by private property owners, the term usually refers to permitting by government agencies. Land-use planning is conducted at a variety of scales, from plans by local city governments to regulations by federal agencies. The United States has never developed a national land-use plan because land use is considered a local concern.
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