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Douglas County Land Evaluation and Site Assessment (LESA) system

The proposed LESA is an analytical tool that Douglas County will use to objectively and systematically rate and rank parcels for agricultural importance in order to help staff and officials make land use decisions. The federal government and over 200 state and local governments have adopted tailored versions of LESA that fit their regional needs. In Douglas County, the LESA will primarily be used for all rezonings from the Agricultural district and for CUPs that may impact large areas of land. While the LESA will carry weight in determining rezones and some conditional use permits, it will be just one of eleven factors that commissioners must take into consideration.

LESA Factors Explained (PDF coming soon): By working with soil professionals, NRCS staff, and conducting research, staff have developed a Douglas County specific Land Evaluation and Site Assessment system for evaluating agricultural lands. The current draft of the LESA contains 7 weighted categories that are evaluated when reviewing a property through the LESA. 

NRCS Interactive Soil Map: Douglas County staff use data provided by the U.S. Department of Agricultures, Natural Resources Conservation Service to find the numerical values needed to operate the LESA. The LESA is 

8/25/2021

Staff Report (PDF): View the 8/25/2021 Staff Report and supporting documents

Meeting Video: View the 8/25/2021 Planning Commission discussion. The link should skip to the right time stamp, if not, the LESA discussion begins at 1:45:27

Please note that during the 8/25/2021 meeting, Planning Commissioners deferred a vote on recommending approval of adoption of the LESA system. An Ad Hoc committee was formed consisting of four Commissioners and the staff members who have been developing the tool.