March 18, 20240

Building and town planning is a phrase used generally to reference approvals for land use planning – municipal initiatives undertaken to regulate the use of land in an effort to avoid land use conflicts. Building and town planning uses a strategic vision to carefully manage resources to match future needs and expectations.There is customarily an element of natural resources protection, as well as future planning for the needs of the community, which are manifested in a Comprehensive Plan for the municipality.

Good building and town planning serves to protect coastlines and historic buildings, revitalizes depressed areas, and develops the local economy. Municipal staff’s job is to preserve the successes of the past while promoting healthy development, so that future needs can be met. In keeping these goals in mind, town planners must consider whether the environment, economy, and society are flourishing as the town grows. Planning is dynamic – it is constantly changing in response to the evolution of the community.

Through collaboration with stakeholders, the building and town planning process works to further its land use goals. Stakeholders often assist by providing input for the development of programs that provide communities with needed tools and resources. Communities can thereby integrate land use planning with energy, housing, economic development and transportation options.

The federal and state governments also may offer rehabilitation tax credits to help stimulate private investment, create jobs, restore historic properties and fund redevelopment of contaminated sites. If you are an investor, property owner, developer, or other party interested in building and town planning, working with an experienced attorney is imperative. You will need to understand the requirements of a Comprehensive Plan and provide sufficient evidence to satisfy those requirements before the building and town planning boards, commissions, and staff.

Planners are assisted by engineers, architects, building surveyors, economists, developers, politicians, scientists and environmental scientists. A good land use attorney will know how to communicate with the experts relied on for building and town planning. Not only do planners rely on experts, but land use attorneys do too. Applications that require review by building and town planning staff are discussed and voted on by the town’s Planning Board and Zoning Board of Review. It is the attorney’s job to present your project before these boards and demonstrate why an approval should be issued through the building and town planning process.

You shouldn’t try to navigate this process without legal representation. You run the risk of not being familiar with the Comprehensive Plan and requirements of the municipality. Desautel Browning Law has experience with handling building and town planning issues and produces positive results when dealing with local governments.

For more information about building and town planning, contact Desautel Browning Law at:, or call: 401.477.0023

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