What Is Land Use Entitlement?

Land Use Entitlement is a sub process of Site Development. The Land Use Entitlement Process is the “legal method of obtaining approvals for the right to develop property for a desired use.” This includes zoning, local, state, federal approvals and building permits. In order to gain these approvals and rights, developers must have the support from not only public groups but also private groups such as neighborhoods.

Land Use Entitlements

What Is The Process Of Land Use Entitlement?

The general process of land use entitlements are broken down in three phases: due diligence, pre-entitlement, and entitlement.


Due Diligence

During the due diligence phase of land use entitlements, the consultant must first due his research on the proposed project before meeting with stakeholders. The consultant must first inspect the property on which the project is expected to be built on and must analyze the project’s feasibility. He must answer, is this project right for this space of land? The proposed project must not only make sense economically, but also environmentally as it should comply with all the environmental regulations such as the Clean Water Act and Water Supply SB 221 and SB 610 and so forth. The consultant must also find out if there are any special issues that might halt future development such as threatened species, FAA, historical preservation, and archaeological findings. Failure to expose these special case issues ahead of time can halt a project’s construction halfway and cost time and money. Once all the research has been conducted by the consultant, he must communicate his findings for land use entitlements to the project’s stakeholders. His stake holders include: city leaders, neighbors, service providers, investors, lenders and corporate executives.

The consultant must then work closely with the municipality to further understand the local regulations and must then build support through personal relationships with the people who are part of the approval process. The consultant will meet with city planning, building and safety, commissioners, city mayor, and neighborhood advisory committees and associations. Getting those parties on the same page will facilitate the land use entitlement approval process.



During the pre-entitlement phase of the land use entitlement process, the consultant will continue working on his relationships with the parties involved in the project. The consultant then works closely with designers, architects, project managers, and engineers to ensure that they are creating a structures that will adhere to the requests and specifications of all involved parties. Often the consultant must attend public hearings that relate to zoning and various other regulations with the intent to gain support of the public and be permitted the right to use the land for what it is intended for.



Land use entitlements are then issued once support from all parties involved is gained, and after all regulations and aspects of the proposed project is met. The municipalities building department will review the proposal and respond with either approval or disapproval of land use rights.


Why Would You Need Land Use Entitlements?

You might be looking into converting an existing warehouse in a commercial area into a habitable apartment. Do you know if that commercial area can provide clean air to the inhabitants? Is the proposed apartment appropriate for that zone? It would be impossible to know all the specific answers to all the questions that might arise to get approval. It might be even harder to take the time and build relationships with all the parties involved in order to gain approval for the project. Why spend so much time and effort when an expert like Dream Design Construct can do the work for you. Our consultants have the knowledge and expertise to do the research and also have the personal relationships needed to get your next project approved and constructed.



You Might Need Entitlements for:

  • Plans
  • Subdivisions
  • Condominium conversions
  • Variances
  • Conditional use permits
  • Zone charges
  • Site plan reviews
  • Development agreements
  • Coastal development
  • Cultural/historical landmarks
  • Transportation infrastructure
  • Planning