Louisiana communities are feeling the pinch of sprawling uncontrolled development that is not compatible with historic development patterns. Citizens want to know that there are safeguards in place to maintain the culture and value they have now and to ensure that future development is economically and culturally sustainable.

Dominant growth patterns are too costly: the economic costs of abandoning infrastructure in the city only to rebuild it further out, the loss of working forests and prime agricultural land through uncontrolled rural development, and the time and money lost to traffic congestion and car dependence represent significant burdens for our communities.


The Louisiana Land Use Toolkit was born out of the groundbreaking Louisiana Speaks Regional Plan as an action item to facilitate sustainable development and guide improved future outcomes. The Louisiana Land Use Toolkit was created as a model development code (zoning and subdivision regulations) steeped in Smart Growth principles.


In April and May of 2009, CPEX held ten Louisiana Land Use Toolkit Road Show Workshops across the state. Funded by the National Association of Realtors®, each workshop included a discussion of the development-related issues, needs or concerns in the different areas and a hands-on, interactive mapping session that illustrated what good planning and clear, consistent development tools can mean for a community and the entire state.


The Toolkit is written so that local governments in Louisiana can download it, tailor it to meet their local conditions, and apply the results to guide future growth in a sustainable manner. No community is one size fits all and their development codes shouldn’t be either. The Louisiana Land Use Toolkit can make a difference in your community by giving you the tools to have:

  • Fair and predictable development decisions
  • Protection of property values through increased predictability
  • More efficient and affordable infrastructure
  • A variety of housing choices
  • Divers, attractive and sustainable communities
  • A mix of land uses and destinations
  • Compact building design
  • Protection of natural and open space areas

The Louisiana Land Use Toolkit is a new resource available to help Louisiana communities achieve their desired goals – strong, efficient, and beautiful towns and cities. There are three ways a community can use the Toolkit. The first option is for the local legislative body to adopt the Toolkit in its entirety as a full development code. The second option allows a local legislative body with an adopted zoning or subdivision ordinance to adopt either the zoning or subdivision elements of the Toolkit in their entirety. The third option involves the local legislative body adopting one or more of the tools in the Toolkit as independent ordinances.

The Land Use Toolkit promotes sustainable development and smart growth. The tools provide a way for Louisiana communities to encourage development that revitalizes neighborhoods, protects farmland and open space, keep housing affordable, and provide predictability for the future of development and land values. The Toolkit encourages development that is good for the environment, community and the economy. Some benefits of the Toolkit include:

  • Recommendations customized to each jurisdiction, so that just the right amount of appropriate regulations are used
  • Regulations that are easy and affordable to administer and implement in areas with limited local resources
  • Flexibility for sue across multiple locations and contexts throughout the state
  • Clear, concise, informative and user-friendly regulatory materials

The goal of the Toolkit is to provide local jurisdictions with a free, online resource from which parishes and municipalities can adopt a complete development code or select cafeteria-style from individual development ordinances that can serve their specific needs.

CPEX is helping communities implement the Toolkit across Louisiana, including West Feliciana and Tangipahoa Parishes.