No federal policy guides land use patterns. Although states have the legal authority to plan and regulate land use, only a few have implemented statewide planning systems. State-level policies typically focus on broader land use patterns and issues. Examples include providing incentives to attract particular industries to the state and smart growth policies to curtail sprawl.
In most states, primary responsibility for land use regulation and planning is delegated to local governments. They are responsible for protecting the public's health, safety, and welfare and play a major role in physical land use patterns. Many utilize planning and regulatory tools to guide development and identify suitable locations for agricultural, residential, commercial, and industrial land uses.
Was this article helpful?