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Land Use Code Review

A local land use code gives direction on both the substantive and procedural elements of land use decision-making. Local elected officials must make the substantive decisions. These decisions include what land use should be built in what zones, how big the buildings can be, and how much wetland area must be protected. There is rarely any liability for the substantive element of a land use code.

The procedural element of a land use code is where many communities get into trouble. If the procedures are inconsistent with the requirements of procedural due process—as defined by state and federal law—the local government and the individuals involved may be found to be liable for any damage caused to the participants in the land use decision-making process.

Our land use code review service provides a "legal defensibility" analysis for your land use code. We review all sections of the land use code for potential exposure to liability. We specifically identify the problematic sections and make recommendations to mitigate the liability exposure. Many jurisdictions that have gone through this land use code review have received reduced insurance premiums as a result of reduced risk exposure for the jurisdiction and the individuals involved.