Role Of Government

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.[2] 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.[1]

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.[2] Many utilize planning and regulatory tools to guide development and identify suitable locations for agricultural, residential, commercial, and industrial land uses.

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