Evaluating California local land use plan's environmental impact reports

Zhenghong Tang, Elise Bright, Samuel Brody

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Local land use planning has profound impacts on environmental quality; however, few empirical studies have been conducted to systematically measure local land use plans' environmental assessment quality and to identify the factors influencing it. This paper analyzes the quality of 40 Environmental Impact Reports (EIRs) of local jurisdictions' land use plans in California. A plan evaluation protocol defined by five core components and sixty-three indicators is developed to measure the quality of local land use plans' EIRs. The descriptive results indicate that the local jurisdictions produce relatively good quality on its EIRs, but there is still much room for improvement. There are large variations in the quality of EIRs across local jurisdictions. The regression results further highlight three major factors that can significantly influence local land use plan's EIR quality: number of planners, plan updating ability, and development pressure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)96-106
Number of pages11
JournalEnvironmental Impact Assessment Review
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2009


  • California
  • Environmental assessment
  • Environmental impact reports
  • Land use planning
  • Local jurisdictions
  • Quality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Ecology
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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