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Flood Risk and Resilience Program<< Back to Key Initiatives


Planning: Comprehensive, Multi-Jurisdictional, Land Use, and Recovery Plans

There exists a range of local planning tools and techniques available for promoting safer development and lowering flood risk as communities continue to grow. These various tools are useful at different scales from parish or municipal comprehensive plans, to broader multi-jurisdictional plans that focus on achieving regional goals, to more specific land use plans. All of these documents aim to assess a community’s needs and articulate a community’s ambitions.

CPRA recommends several measures to enhance comprehensive, multi-jurisdictional, land use, and recovery plans.

State Legislature:

Amend the Louisiana Revised Statutes to require parishes and municipalities to develop a comprehensive plan; require that a comprehensive plan include elements that address land loss, flood risk, post-disaster recovery, and/or natural hazards where statutory language should more closely reflect the American Planning Association’s recommendations.

State Agencies: Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness and Office of Community Development:

Recommend that future planning grants require parishes and/or municipalities to have adopted a post-2005 land use plan; plan should specifically address flood risk reduction measures consistent with the master plan.

Metropolitan Planning Organizations/Regional Planning Commissions:

Incorporate future climate and landscape change in regional planning activities to guide infrastructure investment and development out of areas with high flood risk and areas where risk will increase in the future.

Parish and Municipal Governments:

Adopt or improve comprehensive plans that incorporate a holistic scope of elements based on recent American Planning Association guidance – plans should: address future environmental conditions, including sea level rise, subsidence, land loss, and flood risk, and their potential impacts on communities through economic damages or other costs; coordinate comprehensive plans with all parish budgetary and planning activities including land use plans, economic development plans, transportation plans, water management plans, and recreation plans, etc.; develop or revise existing land use plans to shift development out of areas with high flood risk and areas where risk will increase in the future; quantify the costs of unwise development and account for potential economic impacts of coastal change in future cost/revenue analyses, including impacts on operation and maintenance costs, property tax revenues, or other costs.

Academic/NGO Groups:

Create state wide standards and best practices for comprehensive plans; conduct a coast wide assessment of comprehensive plan implementation in order to better determine how planning efforts are making on the ground impacts; conduct coast wide planning capacity assessments to better understand the available resources that can further municipal, parish, and regional planning efforts.