Land use planning decisions made by Indiana plan commissions, city and town councils, boards of zoning appeals (BZA) and municipalities are influenced by multiple factors such as federal, state and local regulations; community values and economic and environmental considerations. While state government provides the authority to city and county government units to pursue self-determined goals through comprehensive planning, it is up to each body to develop plans that achieve community goals. Additionally, municipal and county governments are responsible for protecting public health, safety and welfare within their jurisdiction through regulation of land use, spatial patterns and regulation of development, investment in infrastructure for water resource management and conservation strategies for green space. Implementation of local plans and ordinances directly impacts the quality of Indiana’s environment and community quality of life.
This document is intended to serve local boards, commissions and their staffs as an educational resource for informed decision-making on current and emerging land use issues in Indiana.