Height of physical structure

The binding land-use plan lays down legally binding rules for the development and organisation of sections of the municipal territory. It is developed on the basis of the preparatory land-use plan, but, unlike the latter, it creates direct rights and duties with regard to the utilisation of the sites within its purview. It can determine the category of use and degree of building overage, type of development (open or closed), and lot coverage. It can also earmark sites for mitigation measures to offset intrusions, as well as sites for ancillary structures such as parking space and garages, vehicular and pedestrian infrastructure, and green paces. Pursuant to the Land Utilisation Ordinance, the binding land-use plan can categorize land-use areas (for example as purely residential areas, general residential areas, mixed use areas, commercial areas, industrial areas). The degree of building coverage can be determined by setting the plot ratio, floorspace index, cubing ratio, height of structures, and number of full storeys. Permissible lot coverage can be set by means of building lines, set-back lines, or coverage depths. Binding land-use plans also serve as the basis for other urban development activities provided for in the Federal Building Code, such as land reallocation, expropriation, and improvement. Plan preparation procedure is regulated in detail by the Federal Building Code. The binding land-use plan is adopted as a bye-law by the local council; it is therefor generally binding, also on private individuals. The binding land-use plan consists of a plan with legend, textual designations and information for the record, as well as an explanator memorandum, including an environmental report.

A special form of binding urban land-use planning is the project-based binding land-use plan. Such plans permit the municipality to grant permission for projects where, on the basis of a project and infrastructure plan agreed with theĀ  unicipality, the project developer undertakes to complete the plan within a certain delay and fully or partly assumes planning and land improvement costs.

Higher-order centre

goes back to the central places theory: higher order centres are designated by state spatial planning and meet demanding, specialised requirements of the population in the extended catchment area (technical colleges / universities, specialised clinics, large department stores, etc.). High-order centres also have a greater supply of highly qualified and skilled labour.

Housing land

The Land Utilisation Ordinance classifies types of building use.
It distinguises two categories:
First, land-use areas for general types of use:

  • housing land
  • mixed building land
  • industrial and commercial land
  • special building land

This rough classification is to be used only in the preparatory land-use plan.

Second, land-use areas for specific types of building use:

  • small holding areas
  • purely residential areas
  • general residential areas
  • special residential areas
  • village areas
  • mixed areas
  • core areas
  • commercial areas
  • industrial areas
  • special areas.

These specific land-use areas can be designated in both the preparatory and the binding land-use plan and are finergrained and more detailed categories.

The Land Utilisation Ordinance defines all the above development areas and provides details on what building projects and facilities are permitted.