Land Use Planning

Land use planning can reduce wildfire risk by helping communities in fire-prone areas grow and develop with wildfire in mind. The CPAW multi-disciplinary team brings expertise in land use planning, forestry, hazard mitigation, and fire behavior to help community planners and other local officials implement policies, regulations, and strategies to reduce wildfire risk. The CPAW team reviews and analyzes community plans and codes, such as the Comprehensive Plan and Land Use Development Code, and integrates these with other documents such as a Community Wildfire Protection Plan or Multi Hazard Mitigation Plan. Teams identify opportunities to reduce potential regulatory conflicts, seek ways to address existing and future development, and provide recommendations to ensure wildfire is considered alongside other community planning priorities.

CPAW communities have applied a variety of land use planning strategies to reduce risk. Examples include prioritizing wildfire resilience in community plans, using wildfire-specific building codes in areas of higher hazard, enforcing slope setbacks to restrict development in high risk areas, requiring adequate road and water supplies for wildfire response and evacuation, and implementing landscaping ordinances that require vegetation maintenance. Each community’s needs are unique, so CPAW’s recommendations are developed after input from local stakeholders during multiple site visits. Implementation of recommendations remains at the discretion of the local jurisdiction. 

Land Use Planning