Chapter 7 | Planning for Future Land Use


Planning for the future use of land is only one element of a typical comprehensive plan, but it is often the most visible and the most controversial element. This chapter discusses land-use planning techniques and challenges.

Weblinks from Chapter

  • Alachua County Comprehensive Plan 2001–2020, Future Land Use Element, Sect. A.3.0, “Urban activity center policies”.
  • Alachua County Comprehensive Plan 2001–2020, Future Land Use Element, Sect. A.5.0.


Save your work from these exercises, even if it is only in the form of rough notes. You will be asked to refer to this work at the end of chapter 10.

  1. If you have previously obtained a copy of your community’s future land-use plan, evaluate it now. How good is it? Does it follow the suggestions of this chapter? Do those suggestions make sense in your community?
  2. Drive around the developing areas of your community. Are the evolving land-use patterns there compatible? Would you want to live in the houses in those new areas? Why or why not? Are your reasons ones that the planners may have (or should have) considered?
  3. Using the criteria suggested in this chapter and whatever data you have gathered for exercises in earlier chapters, try to identify the best sites in or near your community for the following: a major new industry that will require more than one hundred trucks per day coming in and out; a new regional shopping mall; a new hospital; a new neighborhood of affordable housing; and a small industry that would like a site of about four acres (about one city block in many communities) “in town.”
  4. Invite a member of the planning commission to come to your class and talk about how your community’s current “future land-use map” was developed and how it is used by the commission in its decision-making processes.

Discussion Exercise

  1. Choose different people in the class to represent the following positions and then discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the process of mapping future land uses: (1) residents of a small development of about twenty houses located about one thousand feet from a site designated as “future landfill”; (2) residents of a neighborhood shown on the map as “future redevelopment”; (3) owner of a property on the edge of town shown on the map as “permanent agricultural area”; (4) owner of a property on a different edge of town shown on the map as “future mall site.” Other members of the class should participate in the discussion as advocates of the plan.


Supplemental Resources

Common Search Terms

Use these terms in search engines to find additional examples and other resources:

Land use plan; land-use plan; land-use planning; future land use