Land Use Planning refers to a branch of public policy having to do with the regulation of land to be used in an efficient way. Land use planning has a view to ensure that land is used in a way that supports the physical, economic and social well-being of a community.
Relating to Land Use Planning is zoning. Zoning is a term that describes the regulation of land use based on mapped areas that demark one community from another. Zoning is usually employed to ensure that various uses of land in a certain community are compatible with each other. For example, placing a power plant that emits toxic fumes next to a preschool could be deemed a zoning issue. Zoning is commonly monitored and controlled at a local level by cities, counties or municipalities.
Sometimes, there are cases in which there is a dispute over land use. For example, there is a current case in which a proposed wood recycling plant is attempting to bypass resistance from the township. The dispute is in regards to whether the plant would be an acceptable use of land. The town’s mayor, who believes that the recycling plant would be an inappropriate use land, is quoted as saying, “The site is within a residentially zoned neighborhood and is inconsistent with the surrounding uses … Further troubling is the close proximity of this proposed facility to [an early learning center], and nothing is more important than our children’s safety.”
In order to contest the building of the recycling plant, the town board voted to hire an expert engineering firm to become familiar with the case, in anticipation of needing a construction expert witness in the event of a hearing.
When looking to find a construction expert witness or engineering expert witness for land use cases, it is important to hire an expert who can make a convincing argument that land should or shouldn’t be used in a specific way. Hypothetically speaking, an engineering firm could make a case that establishing a recycling plant in close proximity to a preschool could release pollutants that could be considered harmful to child development. On the other side, the recycling firm could retain their own experts to make a counter argument that the plant’s waste disposal methods pose no danger to nearby schools.