Links by state or province
Land Use Planning in the Great Lakes Region
Planning is a process whereby citizens and their locally-elected representatives
form and document a vision for how, when and why their communities should or
should not grow and develop. That vision is most clearly expressed in a document
called a comprehensive plan (U.S.) or an official plan (Canada).
U.S. states have their
own planning and zoning laws. In turn, states authorize local governments
to develop and adopt comprehensive plans and/or zoning ordinances.
No Great Lakes states require local governments to plan or zone,
and only New York, Pennsylvania and Minnesota (and effective January
2010, also Wisconsin) require zoning to be consistent with a comprehensive
plan. All Great Lakes states are "home rule" states, whereby
planning authority is delegated to local municipalities (e.g., cities,
Lakes regional and metropolitan planning organizations (RPOs
and MPOs) help local governments coordinate their planning efforts.
Although they have no land use planning authority, RPOs and MPOS
do have transportation planning authority which has a direct impact
on other planning efforts and land development patterns.
is a tool for implementing comprehensive plans. However, because
zoning and subdivision ordinances carry the force of law and comprehensive
plans do not, much "land use planning" is based on zoning
and subdivision regulations that favor sprawl.
Ontario municipalities have official plans
which lay out long-term frameworks for urban growth. Official plans
are implemented through secondary plans and zoning. By law, secondary
plans, zoning and public works must be consistent with the official
plan. However, official plans are not required to be consistent
with the Provincial Planning Act rules for land use planning.
Great Lakes Planning Organizations
(listed by state/province)
IL | IN | MI | MN | NY | OH | ONT | PA | WI
Metropolitan Planning Council
A nonprofit, nonpartisan group of business and civic leaders committed to serving the public interest through the promotion and implementation of sensible planning and development policies in the Chicago metropolitan region.
Northeastern Illinois Planning Commission
The official comprehensive planning agency for the six county Chicago metropolitan area.
Illinois Chapter of the American Planning Association
Planning with POWER
Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant College Program and the Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service
Planning with POWER is a statewide educational program that links land use planning with watershed planning at the local level. The project is designed to empower communities to prevent and solve natural resource problems resulting from changing land use in growing watersheds.
Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission
Indiana Land Use Consortium
Composed of representatives from various business, development, government and education organizations in Indiana.
Indiana Planning Association
Michigan Association of Planning
The Victor Institute
The Victor Institute supports the wise and responsible use, development, and redevelopment of Michiganís land resources that respects the value and integrity of natural ecosystems by providing research-based information to all stakeholders in the development and redevelopment processes. This mission is accomplished through the conduct of research, education, and outreach.
Land Information Access Association
Non-profit organization which provides Geographic Information Systems data for community planning and development and facilitates intergovernmental cooperation.
Grand Valley Metropolitan Council
An alliance of governmental units in the Grand Rapids metropolitan area.
Northeast Michigan Council of Governments
Minnesota Chapter of the American Planning Association
Regional planning agency serving the Twin Cities seven-county metropolitan area.
New York Planning Federation
New York Upstate Chapter of the American Planning Association
Land Use Team
Ohio State University Extension
Provides information to enable Ohio State University Extension, local and state government and communities to address land use issues with information, educational programs and potential strategies.
Ohio Planning Conference
Intergovernmental Committee on Urban and Regional Research
Library collection of publications relating to planning and other municipal government issues. Muniscope also offers an extensive networking service across Canada.
Land Use Planning
Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Provides resources for local municipalities and citizens, as well as information about the ministry's efforts to reform planning throughout the province.
Pennsylvania Planning Association
Governor's Center for Local Government Services
Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development
The Governor's Center serves as a resource for local government officials, developers, and citizens interested in sound land use planning. This page contains information about the Land Use Planning and Technical Assistance Program and other resources.
Wisconsin Comprehensive Planning Law
Division of Intergovernmental Relations
Passed as part of the 1999-2001 Wisconsin biennial budget, and sometimes referred to as the Smart Growth Law, the law defines what a "comprehensive plan" is, outlines procedures for adopting plans, and requires that certain actions, beginning in 2010, be consistent with an adopted plan and creates a comprehensive planning grants program.
Land Use Team
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Provides information and resources for citizens and local governments interested in addressing land use issues.
Bay-Lake Regional Planning Commission
Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission
Wisconsin Chapter of the American Planning Association
Project contact: Victoria Pebbles, firstname.lastname@example.org