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UPA Package 2, Module 4. INSTRUMENTS AND TOOLS OF LAND USE CONTROL. Categorization of Instruments of Land Use Control. ‘National policy and perspectives’ instruments ‘Strategic’ instruments ‘Framework’ instruments ‘Regulation’ instruments. Common Tools of Land Use Control.

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upa package 2 module 4
UPA Package 2, Module 4



Categorization of Instruments of Land Use Control

  • ‘National policy and perspectives’ instruments
  • ‘Strategic’ instruments
  • ‘Framework’ instruments
  • ‘Regulation’ instruments

Common Tools of Land Use Control

  • Planning tools
  • Zoning/Zoning ordinance
  • Site plan control (or subdivision regulation)
  • Building regulation
  • Development control (or development permit)
  • Supplementary control

Planning Tools

  • Comprehensive plan
  • Master/General plan
  • Strategic plan
  • Structure plan

Planning Tools

A Case of Land Use Planning On the Strategic Level

Oregon's Land Use Planning Program

The adoption of the state-wide planning program in 1973 was a significant achievement for the State of Oregon.

It emphasizes both Conservation and Development

The program is “top down” and “bottom up” --

prescribing planning and zoning requirements, while

cities and counties carry them out with local needs in


Local planning commissions, city councils and county commissions are the recommending and adopting bodies.


Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS)

Statewide Planning Goals

Oregon Admin. Rules (OARs)

Comprehensive Plans

Local Ordinances

Local Land Use Decisions

Planning Tools

Oregon's Land Use Planning Program


Planning Tools

Comprehensive Land Use Plans

State law requires cities and counties to plan their communities comprehensively.

Comprehensive land use plans and plan amendments for cities, counties and regional government are periodically reviewed by the Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD).


Planning Tools

Comprehensive Land Use Plans


Local comprehensive land use plans are judged against 19 planning goals and related administrative rules and judicial decisions.

----19 goals adopted as state rules, express fundamental state policies on land use and related topics

----Goals apply both statewide and regionally

----Local comprehensive plans and ordinances must be consistent with applicable goals


Planning Tools

Goal 1: Citizen involvement

Goal 2: Land use planning

Goal 3: Agricultural lands

Goal 4: Forest lands

Goal 5: Open spaces, scenic and historic areas, and natural resources

Goal 6: Air, water and land resources quality

Goal 7: Areas subject to natural disasters and hazards

Goal 8: Recreational needs

Goal 9: Economic development

Goal 10: Housing

Goal 11: Public facilities and services

Goal 12: Transportation

Goal 13: Energy conservation

Goal 14: Urbanization (urban growth boundaries)

Goal 15: Willamette River greenway

Goal 16: Protection of Estuarine resources

Goal 17: Protection of Coastal shorelands

Goal 18: Protection of Beaches and dunes

Goal 19: Protection of Ocean resources


Planning Tools

  • Implementation
  • Implementation of the 19 goals occurs through:
  • Discussions, negotiations and dispute resolution
  • Technical assistance and training grants
  • Commission enforcement actions
  • Appeals to local planning actions to LCDC, the Land Use Board of Appeals
  • Appeals to the courts

Planning Tools

  • Two Key Goals
  • Urban Growth Boundaries
  • Sustainable Transport

Urban Growth Boundaries (UGBs)


Planning Tools

Overview of Zoning Ordinances

  • Uses of Zoning
  • Popularity
  • Effectiveness in shaping land use
  • Limitation
  • (1) Can guide growth, but not necessarily encourage investment
  • (2) Must be sensitive to changing economic and social conditions
  • (3) Potential issues of discrimination and inequity concerning “exclusionary zoning” and “fiscal zoning”

Planning Tools

Trends in Zoning Tools/Applications

Increasing efforts are done in different counties to make local land use control more flexible and negotiable


Planning Tools

Flexibility : Rezoning

  • Rezoning impacts: (business to residential) neighbors have to agree
    • e.g. Shorefront property -- rezoned

Planning Tools

Flexibility : Variances

  • Variances
  • Gives landowner an exception to break some zoning rules in a zone.
    • Use variances
    • Variance from standards
  • Ostensibly for “hardship” exemption
    • Exceptional circumstances
    • Use may not interfere with public welfare or injure adjoining property
    • Won't affect master plan adversely
    • Profit motive not considered

Planning Tools

Variances and Planning

  • Variances are often used as a development tool, to get around established policies
  • Variances circumvent government decision making process and vests quasi-judicial powers in planning body because it is construed as administrative and not policy
  • Insidious way of shielding policy decision from public input and debate; it is really a disguised zoning change without the legislative approval

Planning Tools

Flexibility: Non-conforming Zones

  • Non-conforming zones -- cabinet shop, apartments, day care
    • No alterations allowed (increase size, change in use, etc.)
    • Billboards -- amortization of properties to recover financial investment -- mixed feelings by courts

Planning Tools

Flexibility: Exclusionary Zoning

Exclusionary zoning

----a way of eliminating unwanted uses, such as industrial mills, chemical refineries

----used as a validation to keep unwanted commercial and industrial uses from affluent individuals and neighborhoods

----racial and economic prejudices are major reasons


Planning Tools

Flexibility: Exclusionary Zoning

  • Exclusionary zoning
  • Large lot requirements
      • Minimum house size requirements
      • No multiple dwellings
      • No mobile homes
      • High in-lieu exactions of subdivisions

Planning Tools

Flexibility: Inclusionary Zoning

  • Inclusionary zoning(e.g. density bonuses)
      • low
  • ----a mechanism to generate affordable housing
  • ----either require or offer incentives to housing developers to set aside a portion of the units they build as affordable.

Planning Tools

Flexibility: Inclusionary Zoning

Inclusionary zoning


----the potential to be a significant generator of affordable housing units

----win-win situation for developers, community members and the government


----should not be constrained by rent and income limits and instead should generate the profits allowed by the open market

----lead to the creation of bulky, ugly buildings that do not fit into the existing neighborhood fabric

----simply not effective


Planning Tools

Flexibility: Incentive Zoning (Bonus Zoning)

Incentive zoning

----be very effective in encouraging desired types of development in targeted locations

---- providing economic incentives for development that otherwise may not occur

---- a method for a municipality to obtain needed public benefits or amenities in certain zoning districts


Planning Tools

  • Contract zoning

-- conditional use permits

Cities concerned about requiring things courts will ultimately throw out

  • Planned unit development (PUD)

allows precise plan with all phases of zoning interchanged if deemed desirable.

Usually used in large developments

  • Open space tradeoffs

Overall density remains the same, but open space is traded for higher specific density

  • Mandatory Dedication
  • Impact Fees
  • Innovative Land-use Control Methods
    • Planned unit development
    • Performance zoning
    • Incentive zoning
    • Transfer of development rights

Other Flexible Zoning Tools


Planning Tools

Site plan control/Subdivision regulations

  • Site plan controls / subdivision regulations, provides rules for determining the way that land is to be subdivided and how it is to be prepared.
  • Site plan or subdivision control has both a substantive and a procedural component.

Planning Tools

Subdividions/Parcele Maps

  • Must be consistent w/ General Plan and Zoning
  • Density & Lot Type
  • Street widths, driveway cuts & circulation patterns (connections)
  • Conditions of Approval (Nexus)
  • Parcel Map is 4 or fewer lots

Planning Tools

Infrastructure Finance

  • Pre-Proposition 13: General Obligation Bonds used for financing roads, sewer, water treatment, etc.
  • Adequate Public Facilities (Schools/Roads)
  • Today (Nexus-based proportionate share):
    • User fees (portion of utility bill);
    • Development Impact Fees
    • Dedications of land or fee in-lieu

Planning Tools

Subdivisions: Environmental Issues

  • Natural Hazards & Environmentally sensitive areas (flood, hillsides, wetlands, plant / animal habitat)
  • Stormwater quality management (NPDES-SWPPP) - use of detention basins / swales
  • Noise Caused by project (industrial)
  • External Noise Affects Project

Planning Tools

Subdivisions - Street Layout

  • Streets comprise 10-30% of land area
  • Streets contain public utilities
  • Arterials: high volumes at high speeds, but offer limited access - results in back-on lots, pedestrian-hostile
  • Local Streets intersections (conflict points) < 500 - 1000 ‘ to tame traffic
  • Cul-de-sacs < 500’ in length; 45’ radius

Planning Tools

Subdivisions - Lot Dimensions

  • Single Family min 52’ x 100’ + 10’ corner
  • Wide lots require > frontage improvements
  • Narrow lots more efficient for transit
  • Pie-shaped lots (on cul-de-sacs) have premium value, but use land less efficiently
  • Flag lots have minimal street presence

Planning Tools

Subdivisions - Commercial

  • Divisibility for financing purposes
  • Requires reciprocal access, drainage, and utility easements
  • Usually requires reciprocal parking
  • Often requires “no build easements” to satisfy Uniform Building Code (fire rating)
  • Common landscaping parcels

Planning Tools

Subdivisions - Types

  • Master Tentative Map (merchant lots)
  • Parcel Tentative Map (< 5 lots)
  • Subdivision Tentative Map
  • Final Map (Acceptance of improvements or performance bond to construct later)
  • Boundary Line Adjustment (Minimal discretion)

Planning Tools

Building Regulations

  • Objective:
  • secure socially accepted minimum standards
  • Disadvantage :
  • effective enforcement can be a complex and expensive process, often resulting in the regulations being administered only in relatively wealthy urban settings.

Planning Tools

Development Plan Control/Review

  • Similar to a conditional use permit except that type of land use is not at issue
  • Conditions may include
    • Intensity (# Church seats, # square feet)
    • Landscaping & Parking & Circulation
    • Building Design / Positioning on site
    • Hours of operation

Planning Tools

Supplementary Tools

  • Wetland protection
  • Water resource protection
  • Erosion and sedimentation control
  • Environmental controls/review
  • Junk Yard Regulations
  • Control of Mining
  • Moratoria
  • ……
  • Official Map
  • Sign Control
  • Historic preservation
  • Architectural design control
  • Scenic resource protection
  • Open space preservation
  • Protection of agricultural land
  • Floodplain management