Minnesota Department of Transportation

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Project development

Environmental process | Environmental review

Land Use Impacts


Any project that requires new right of way, alters access to a community or business, or induces growth or development could have impacts on the surrounding area. You must consider these impacts and determine how to address them.

When to use this subject

Review land use impacts whenever you have a project that requires new right of way.  Consider existing and proposed land use plans, zoning ordinances, and any likely changes the project will cause on a project-by-project basis.  You must establish the significance of all impacts, regardless of how substantial they are.  Review city, county, or regional Comprehensive Plans to ensure that the project is consistent with them.  Identify and discuss any and all local, state, or regional plans and/or policies on land use and growth that may impact or otherwise affect the project in whole or in part in your environmental documentation as well as any special land use considerations.

If your project involves a unique area or land use, you may need to prepare a special report.  People who believe that a proposed project will substantially change the land use in their communities may often feel opposed to that project.  For questions on this subject contact OES and find further guidance on the Legal Authority and Guidance pages.

How this subject fits into the overall project development process

Start this analysis in the scoping phase and identify any potential land use impacts. As the environmental and design processes advance, identify and discuss any and all local, state, or regional plans and/or policies on land use and growth which may be impacted or otherwise affected in whole or in part by the proposed project. Complete the land use analysis during the environmental review process. The Purpose and Need Statement for the project may include consistency with local, station and regional plans and programs. 

Organizations involved