Land Use Designation Criteria

Each and every parcel of land in the unincorporated area of the county has been duly assigned a land use designation, or in rare cases multiple designations. Except as otherwise expressly provided by the Land Development Regulations set forth in Section VI of this Land Use Element, no land may be developed or used except in the manner permitted by its assigned designation. (See also Sections 01.060, 02.705, 03.010, and 04.020 of the Land Development Regulations.)  The land use designations described below were applied to private lands in the county based on an area's suitability for certain uses. Each parcel or area was analyzed using the following criteria:

  • Does the area include natural hazards that limit development, such as flood zones, Alquist-Priolo zones, unstable soils or steep slopes, etc.?
  • Does the area include natural resources that limit development; e.g., wetlands, significant habitat, deer migration routes, etc.?
  • What are the existing uses in the area?
  • Is infrastructure available for development (i.e., sewer, water, roads, fire protection)?
  • What is the existing land division pattern in the area and what are the lot sizes?
  • Does the area have open space value (e.g., visuals, wildlife habitat, agricultural preservation, cultural resources)?
  • What is the community vision for the future of the area?