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Conservation Toolkit

U.S. Forest Service | Environment and Natural Resources

Public Agency Participation in Local Land Use Planning

Key Components to Commenting on Local Land Use Actions


1. Research Local Land Use Regulations

Planning Process – Determine the process for a land use decision. If a subdivision is proposed, determine whether it will go through the preliminary plat process and the final plat process. Review the county comprehensive plan or land use plan, subdivision regulations, and any existing zoning regulations (see section on “Overview of Wyoming Land Use Planning Laws and Regulations”).

Decision Makers – Determine what decisions the planning department staff makes, whether or not there is a planning and zoning commission, and what decisions are made by the county board of commissioners.

Public Comment Opportunities – Determine when there are opportunities for public comment. While written comment is usually acceptable, there may be times that it is desirable to attend and testify at a public hearing.

2. Ask to be Notified of Land Use Applications

When an application is located adjacent to a public land boundary, the agency will likely be notified as an adjacent landowner. Public land managers may want to request to be notified of actions some distance from the public land boundary if public lands and resources may be impacted.

3. Address the Decision-Making Criteria

A land use regulation will often require the decision-making body to make “findings of fact” for its decisions and will include the criteria for those findings. Address the criteria by which the local jurisdiction must make its findings. Research each county’s regulations to determine the decision-making criteria.

4. Be Involved Early and Often

A county’s overall vision will be developed in its comprehensive plan, which is then implemented in zoning and subdivision ordinances. These ordinances guide individual development. The resource information that public agencies can provide can be valuable at every stage, and participating from the earliest stages of comprehensive planning and ordinance implementation sets the stage for individual development actions.

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Ruckelshaus Institute

Haub School of Environment

and Natural Resources

University of Wyoming

Bim Kendall House

804 E Fremont St

Laramie, WY 82072

Phone: (307)766-5080

Fax: (307)766-5099


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