Geologic Environment: Forgotten Aspect in the Land Use Planning Process
Federal, state, and local political pressures are demanding that urban planners and zoning commissions manage all land use to protect the environment. Uncontrolled building practices cause home owners to suffer as a consequence of floods, foundation failures, and numerous other earth processes. Land use planning, as exemplified by the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) 701 program, sadly lacks a sound geologic base. It must be the role of the engineering geologist, versed in both civil engineering and geology, to formulate a geologic base for planning with the physical environment. He must satisfy two fundamental needs: (1) establish engineering geology criteria for specific land use suitability and (2) communicate his findings to the public, a public that includes persons who may be knowledgeable or ignorant about engineering, geology, and (or) planning.