Position on Land Use

State or National:


Position in Brief:

Support state land use planning that recognizes land as a resource as well as a commodity. The state should establish guidelines and standards for land areas of more than local concern.

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Decisions for these areas should be made at the lowest level of government feasible, but should be subject to state review. Citizens must have a meaningful participation in land use planning and regulation.

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  1. State policies, guidelines, and standards should be developed for land areas such as fragile or historic lands, renewable resource lands (including agricultural lands), natural hazard lands, and land impacted by public investment.
  2. State land use planning should be part of an integrated overall state planning effort. The state land use plan should coordinate plans and policies o local and regional agencies, maximizing local decision making. Environmental, social and economic impact statements should be required on major developments, public and private. The state government should help local governments develop and exercise land use management functions by increased state financial aid for research, technical assistance, and data collection.
    Arbitration –Begin vertical–
  3. Mechanisms should be established to arbitrate conflicts between governmental bodies and between citizens and governmental bodies in order to implement land use planning.
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    The state should assume authority for land use planning and control where local governments fail to regulate land use of local concern.
    Regional Planning
  4. The state government should encourage formation of sub-state regional bodies with authority for land use planning and regulation in matters of more than local concern.
    Local Planning –Begin vertical–
  5. Local land use planning should be utilized as a means to determine how local communities should change and develop. General plans should be used as a basis for zoning and other planning decisions at the local level. Land use decisions should relate to and protect the over all quality of the environment. Local government should plan for the preservation of open space and provide for adequate parks and recreation.
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    Regulation –Begin vertical–
  6. In land use planning and regulation, government must provide for involvement of citizens in the earliest planning and regulatory stages and throughout the process adequate funding of the public information process, and development of mechanisms to minimize conflict of interest on the part of persons who make land use decisions.
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Position History:

Adopted 1975. Readopted at last convention.