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 edition 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.


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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, LLC, has served local governments from coast to coast over the last 35 years; he has developed and helped implement numerous award-winning growth management programs for urban and rural jurisdictions. In addition to developing comprehensive and strategic plans, he has developed plan implementation programs addressing agricultural preservation, redevelopment, concurrency management, and development/design regulations. He was the lead consultant in the preparation of the Fat City Strategic Redevelopment Plan and implementing ordinances.