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Zoning on Indian Land


Continued growth and development on a reservation can have a negative impact if a tribe is not careful when protecting its land. A strong, comprehensive plan, coupled with a carefully devised zoning code, allows a tribe to attract business and industry while maintaining the quality of land on the reservation.

During this class, you’ll learn how to develop and implement a comprehensive plan and zoning code to maximize reservation resources. In addition to basic instruction on developing and implementing a zoning code for managing economic growth on reservations, this class addresses specific concerns regarding the regulation of non-Indians and non-Indian land on reservations.

This class will give you the tools that you need to prepare a detailed zoning code for your reservation. Our expert instructor will guide you through the entire life cycle — from planning and organization to development and adoption to implementation and enforcement.


T O P I C S   I N C L U D E
Precursors to Zoning
  • Introduction and basics
  • Standard terminology
  • Tribal authority
  • Structure for planning:
    • Enabling resolution
    • Planning commission
    • Planning staff
  • Relationship between a zoning code and a comprehensive plan
  • Public involvement and adoption
  • Legality of land use regulation
Zoning Code — Basics
  • Development of a zoning code
  • Essential zoning code components
  • Zones
  • Use regulations
  • Density controls
  • Bulk regulations
  • Common development standards
  • Fences, landscaping, parking lots and signs
Zoning Code — Advanced Components
  • Performance zoning alternative
  • Adopting a zoning code
  • Implementing a zoning code
  • Uses — conditional, unclassified and nonconforming
  • Variances
  • Planned unit developments
  • Floating zones
  • Extended family housing
  • Mobile/modular housing
  • Home occupations
  • Major/minor development permits
Zoning Code Adoption
  • Legislative process
  • Developing a theme
  • Role of the community
Zoning Code Implementation
  • Permit process
  • Considerations in quasi-judicial cases
  • Rezoning
Enforcement and Legal Considerations
  • Code enforcement
  • Conflict of interest
  • Land development regulations
  • Burden of proof
  • Protecting private property rights
  • Trust land
  • Allotted land
  • Fee-simple land
  • Protecting sacred land
  • Limitations on tribal regulation
  • Protecting private property rights
  • Adjacent jurisdictions
  • Case law
Sample Zoning Ordinances
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