Zoning plan

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The zoning plan ( preparatory building master plan ) is a planning instrument (plan drawing with justification) of the public administration in the system of spatial planning of the Federal Republic of Germany , with which the urban development of the communities is to be controlled.

The lowest level of spatial planning at the municipal level is known as land-use planning . The land-use planning is two-stage and knows the planning instruments land use plan and development plan . The zoning plan is thus a formal instrument of urban planning and an expression of the municipal planning sovereignty .

The possible contents, the procedure for drawing up the plan and the legal consequences of the zoning plan are defined in the building code . Additional requirements for the content can be found in the Building Use Ordinance .


According to § 5 of the Building Code (BauGB), the land use plan (abbreviated: FNP or F-Plan) for the entire municipal area must show the basic features of the type of land use resulting from the intended urban development according to the foreseeable needs of the municipality.

It is a graphical plan representation of the entire municipal area, in which the existing and desired land uses are shown. For example, areas of residential areas, commercial areas and arable land are displayed. This applies to areas on which these uses already exist and areas on which this use is to be established in the future. The purpose of the zoning plan is not a cartographic representation of the current situation, but rather a conceptual development plan directed towards the future. Therefore, the planning representations deviating from the actual state represent the essential content of the zoning plan, although i. d. Usually occupy a much smaller area than the existing representations.

FNP City of Koblenz, greatly simplified

The zoning plan is therefore of particular importance for the designation of new development areas . By designating previously undeveloped areas outside as building areas in the zoning plan, the municipality expresses its intention to develop these areas into new building areas within a reasonable period of time by drawing up development plans, realizing building land reallocations and building technical development .

This is intended to provide information and control for other public administration measures. In this way, the future development of the building area of ​​a municipality can be taken into account in structural measures. For example, when planning roads, drainage canals, supply lines or other public facilities such as schools, it can be taken into account whether new building areas will arise in their catchment area.

Likewise, construction measures that stand in the way of the implementation of future plans or make them more difficult should be avoided. By showing a planned road in the zoning plan, for example, the construction of a building project that is permitted outside, such as an agricultural operation or energy generation systems, is to be prevented in the route.

The zoning plan is a program of the municipality that is binding on itself and other authorities. For private individuals, the zoning plan i. d. Usually, however, no rights or obligations can be derived.

Nevertheless, the designation of previously undeveloped areas as building land in the zoning plan practically results in an increase in the value of the land concerned. In this context, one speaks of land to be built . Nevertheless, the municipality can withdraw this designation by changing the zoning plan. In this case, the affected property owners are not entitled to any compensation (in contrast to the withdrawal of a development option by changing a development plan, which can trigger claims for compensation).

The zoning plan shows i. d. R. Scales between 1: 10,000 to 1: 50,000. The scale is chosen by the planner (usually the municipality) and depends on both the level of detail in the planning and the size of the planning area. The graphic and cartographic representation is supplemented by a justification in which the municipality explains the considerations on which its planning objectives are based.

In order to ensure the legibility of various land use plans , the color and symbolic design must be based on the specifications of the plan sign ordinance .

Due to the comparatively small scale, the representations of the FNP (in contrast to the stipulations of a development plan) open up a certain amount of room for interpretation with regard to their spatial extent. It is said that the FNP is not “parcel-specific”.

According to the building code, each municipality must draw up a zoning plan for its area. The task of drawing up a land use plan can be delegated by individual municipalities to supraregional special purpose associations (regional land use plan). This is particularly useful in conurbations in order to better coordinate the spatial development of neighboring communities across communal borders.

The usual contents of the FNP are listed in Section 5 of the Building Code , although this is not a mandatory requirement. In contrast to the development plan, the contents of which are conclusively and bindingly specified in § 9 of the Building Code, the planner of the FNP can vary the contents of the FNP within certain limits and depending on the planning necessity.

The designations of the land use plan are referred to as "representations". This term is also intended to underline the legally different relevance compared to the binding designations of a development plan, which are referred to as "stipulations". However, like the development plan, the zoning plan also contains informational takeovers that are not based on the planning decision of the municipality, but arise from the planning and legal requirements of other agencies. These are included in the master plan for purely informative reasons, because they are relevant for spatial development and construction projects (examples: contaminated sites , nature reserves , floodplain areas ).

When drawing up or changing a zoning plan, the overarching goals of spatial planning , i.e. goals of state and regional planning , must be observed. Land use plans (reorganization and partial spatial changes) must be approved by the higher-level administrative authority (usually the district or state administration).

The specifications of the land use plan must in turn be observed when drawing up development plans. It is said that the zoning plan is to be developed from the zoning plan. Specifically, this means that a development plan for a new commercial area can only be drawn up for areas that the zoning plan already shows as commercial areas. While the land use plan only specifies the pure land use (here: commercial area), the development plan contains much more detailed and precise specifications for the permitted development such as B. Location and width of the streets, arrangement and height of the buildings, type (e.g. open development / row houses) and degree of structural use and much more.

The re-creation of a zoning plan for the entire municipality is a lengthy process due to the large number of issues to be taken into account and is very rare. The zoning plan is changed much more frequently due to specific planning intentions for partial areas. The so-called parallel procedure, in which the zoning plan is changed at the same time as the development plan is drawn up, and the procedural steps that are largely the same for changing the FNP and drawing up the development plan in accordance with the Building Code, are carried out jointly, so to speak, is of particular importance.

As a result, many municipalities have comparatively old zoning plans that have since been changed or adapted in numerous places. It can happen that a zoning plan was drawn up thirty years ago and has already changed several dozen times.



The zoning plan shows, for example:

  • Areas intended for development, subdivided according to type of use: residential building areas (W), mixed areas (M), commercial building areas (G), special building areas (S)
  • Areas for supply systems and public facilities (e.g. sewage treatment plant, substation, church, sports field, cultural facilities)
  • supra-local road traffic areas (motorways, federal highways, arterial roads), railway systems and areas for air traffic,
  • Green areas (e.g. parks, allotments, sports fields, cemeteries)
  • Bodies of water (e.g. lakes, ports, flood protection systems)
  • Agricultural land and forest
  • Areas for usage restrictions (e.g. clearance areas)
  • Areas for embankments, excavations and for the extraction of mineral resources
  • Areas to compensate for interventions in nature and landscape

Plan reservation for projects in the outdoor area

The zoning plan is of particular importance when it comes to controlling the permissibility of certain outdoor projects, in particular wind turbines . In accordance with Section 35 (3) sentence 3 of the Building Code, these projects are generally permissible in the outdoor area ; however, they are generally opposed to public concerns, provided that they have been designated elsewhere through representations in the zoning plan (or as objectives of spatial planning ).

This so-called plan reservation specifically means that in the case of areas for wind power plants shown in the zoning plan, the construction of corresponding plants in the remaining area of ​​application of the zoning plan, i.e. H. in the rest of the municipality is not permitted. This representation must be based on a comprehensible and well-founded planning concept.

The same legal effect can be achieved by designating spatial planning goals in regional plans or state development plans / state development programs. It is controversial at which planning level regulation makes more sense. The designation at regional planning level makes it easier to concentrate on particularly suitable locations in a planning region . Through the designation in the zoning plan, the individual municipalities can pursue their partly economic interests. The problem here is that, due to their great height, wind turbines are visible far beyond the municipal boundaries and can represent a supra-local impairment of the landscape .

News takeover

In addition to the planning depictions of land use within the meaning of Section 5 (1) of the BauGB, existing plans and other usage regulations from other bodies should be taken over by the municipality for information when drawing up the zoning plan ( Section 5 (4) of the BauGB).

Installation procedure and public participation

According to the Building Code (Federal Republic), citizens and associations must be informed as early as possible about the general goals and purposes of planning. They are to be given the opportunity to comment on the planning and to submit suggestions for changes. The submitted comments must be weighed against other interests before the plan can be approved.

The participation process when drawing up, amending, supplementing or canceling a zoning plan usually runs over two stages:

  • early public participation
  • public display of the draft plan

In addition to public participation, authorities and other public bodies are to be requested to submit comments on the planning.

Legal effect and judicial review

A judicial review of the contents of the land use plan is not possible for private persons , as the FNP i. d. Usually no direct legal force or direct consequences unfold. The FNP only has legal effect for citizens via a binding master plan ( development plan ), a building permit or a plan approval .

However, the representations of the zoning plan can be decisive for the admissibility of certain building projects in the outdoor area . Since in this case the zoning plan has a direct legal consequence for private individuals, a judicial review is possible, for example in the case of a lawsuit against the non-issuance of a facility permit. ( Incident Exam )

Regional land use plan

The regional land use plan is a specialty (abbreviation: RegFNP or RFNP). It can in compacted areas or in other space structural links the plains Regional Plan and (common) land use plan to § 204 Building Code in a Planwerk merge ( § 9 para. 6 ROG), unless provided state law that regional planning mergers of municipalities and municipal associations to regional planning communities. The regional zoning plan must comply with both the building code and the regional planning law .

The first regional zoning plan in Germany was drawn up for the Rhine-Main region by the planning association for the Frankfurt / Rhine-Main conurbation . Another regional zoning plan was drawn up in the Ruhr area. To this end, the cities of Bochum, Essen, Gelsenkirchen, Herne, Mülheim an der Ruhr and Oberhausen founded a planning association at the end of 2005. The homepage of the Ruhr 2030 urban region provides information about their work.

See also


  • all comments on the BauGB, there §§ 5 ff. BauGB
  • Ulrich Battis : Legal protection against land use plans , AL 2012, 153
  • Arno Bunzel, Daniela Michalski, Robert Sander, Wolf-Christian Strauss: Land use planning - spatial framework of urban development / range and topicality using the example of Berlin , DifU German Institute for Urban Studies, Berlin 2012, download here
  • Antje Demske: The control effect of the land use plan and its significance after the European Law Amendment Act came into force. Berlin 2009.
  • Christoph Herrmann : Legal protection against land use plans in the system of administrative procedural law , NVwZ 2009, 1185
  • Stephan Mitschang: The land use plan. Vhw-Verlag, Bonn 2003.
  • Stephan Mitschang: The increasing importance of land use planning for the control of spatial development in the communities. In: Stephan Mitschang (Hrsg.): Land use planning - change of tasks and perspectives. Peter Lang Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 2007, pp. 13–53.
  • Stephan Mitschang: The zoning plan as the subject of the environmental assessment. In: Willy Spannowsky , Andreas Hofmeister (ed.): Environmental assessment in urban land use planning. Carl Heymanns Verlag, Cologne 2005, pp. 13–45.
  • Stephan Mitschang: The importance of land use planning today: tasks, status and prospects for further development. LKV 3/2007, pp. 102-109.
  • Gunnar Schwarting, Hans-Joachim Koppitz: The land use plan in municipal practice / principles - procedures - effects. Erich Schmidt Verlag, Berlin 1995, 3rd edition 2005.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. William Söfker in: BeckOK Building Code, 49th Ed. February 1, 2020, BauGB § 35 Before Rn. 1.