Coordinating Capital Planning and Design-Based Standards

Zoning Practice — September 2020

By Michael Lauer, AICP


ZP subscriber
List price
Sign In & Download

Not a member but want to buy a copy? You'll need to create a free My APA account to purchase. Create account

Most communities use their capital investments to advance diverse goals and objectives, and many link these improvements to their comprehensive plans through their capital improvements programs. Local land development regulations often reference local capital improvements programs to manage the timing, location, and intensity of development. However, fewer communities examine how local design regulations determine the effectiveness of local capital improvements.

The nexus between design regulations and capital planning has significant implications for the abilities of communities to achieve their sustainability and resilience objectives. This edition of Zoning Practice explores the relationship between capital planning and land development regulations that focus on building and site design. It presents a series of recommendations to help planners craft design standards that support capital planning objectives related to mobility, stormwater management, and energy consumption.


Page Count
Date Published
Sept. 1, 2020
Adobe PDF
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.