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Jurisdictional boundaries, whether they separate cities and townships, villages and towns, or cities and counties, can present seemingly intractable problems for planners and planning officials. Creating plans and ordinances that serve the interests of both the urban and rural sides of the boundary can be a daunting task when their goals seem to be at cross purposes.
Typically, cities seek room to expand, as well as efficient extension of municipal utilities in the future. Therefore, they prefer that the land surrounding them be reserved for agricultural or very low-density development. Rural jurisdictions such as townships or counties, on the other hand, may seek to increase their tax bases by promoting commercial or industrial development adjacent to the city.
This issue of Zoning Practice examines the conditions that foster interlocal cooperation on planning and zoning and shares lessons learned from noteworthy initiatives in Minnesota, Iowa, and Washington.
About the Author
Suzanne Rhees, AICP