Zoning is a positive tool that could be used to encourage appropriate development in Sullivan County. Influencing zoning to achieve the County's vision and community land use goals, objectives and policies could help to avoid the growing pains of development such as heavy traffic, strip malls, loss of open space or lack of affordable and workforce housing. Land use planning can help to establish the identity of a community, and the unique characteristics of that identity may then work to the benefit of the community's economy and quality of life.
Development decisions made at the local level are critical and influence land use patterns, which affect the County as a whole. Finding opportunities to encourage growth in areas that support a diversified economy while retaining the qualities unique to the County can be done if local municipalities collectively support a unified vision and have the tools to accomplish them.