When looking to understand a property’s allowable land uses and zoning we look to the City or County zoning code and zoning map.  These give us an idea of what uses are currently permitted at a property, which uses are not permitted, and which uses require a minor or conditional use permit.  It provides a snapshot of the current state of the property, but it doesn’t give any insight to the future of the property.  This is where the “general plan” comes in to help give the public an idea of the direction of a specific property or neighborhood.  The general plan will have both maps and text available to help show what the goals are for an area and it serves as a blueprint for location, type, density, quality, and rate of development.  Having knowledge of the future development of a community is very important for real estate professionals so that we can advise our clients in their real estate activity.  Understanding the goals and needs of specific areas including infrastructure, demographics, resources, and overall economic growth can help determine if a property is suitable for a client’s needs.  Determining the highest and best use of a property must take into consideration the current zoning as well as the general plan.