Coordinating Capital Planning, Zoning, and Land Development

Zoning Practice — September 2019

By Michael Lauer, AICP


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The Capital Improvement Program (CIP) is a tool to fund new public facilities to meet the demands from existing, approved, and planned development over time. Its profound effects on the public and private realms make it a key tool for every planner to shape the timing, location, intensity, and character of development in a community. Even though the stated purposes of zoning and subdivision regulations generally cite the need to coordinate development decisions with local capacity, land development regulations (LDRs) often fail to describe how this should occur. The linkages between LDRs and capital improvement planning is often too vague to provide meaningful guidance or to enable legally defensible decisions.

This issue of Zoning Practice focuses on the critical linkages between the capital improvement program and local development regulations, and how they can influence the timing, location, and intensity of development in a community.


Page Count
Date Published
Sept. 1, 2019
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American Planning Association

About the Author

Michael Lauer, AICP
Michael Lauer, AICP, Principal of Michael Lauer Planning, is the author of a forthcoming article in APA’s Zoning Practice (scheduled for publication in September 2019) on the topic of coordinating land development regulations with multi-year capital plans. He has served local governments from coast to coast over the last 36 years; he has developed and helped implement award-winning growth management programs for urban and rural jurisdictions. In addition to developing comprehensive and strategic plans, he has implemented plan directives addressing redevelopment, concurrency management, and development/design regulations. In recent years, he has focused a mix of land use, growth management and mobility projects, including projects in Florida, Mississippi, North Carolina, Georgia and Louisiana.