Land use planning can be an invaluable tool for preserving working waterfronts. Land use planning involves both a planning process, referred to as comprehensive planning, and the adoption of laws in the form of zoning codes. Land use planning helps communities manage and guide development to achieve community goals.Comprehensive planning is the process by which communities develop their visions for the future. Through such planning, community members strive to articulate what they want their town or city to look like at some point in the future.
Through zoning, local governments strive to implement the community visions laid out in the comprehensive plan where possible through ordinances, codes, and permits. Zoning codes are local laws that impose legally binding requirements and restrictions on land use development.