Growth management laws are designed to control the timing, phasing and character of urban growth. They take a comprehensive approach to regulating the pattern and rate of development and set policies to ensure that most new construction is concentrated within designated urban growth areas or boundaries (UGBs). They direct local governments to identify lands with high natural resource, economic and environmental value and protect them from development. Some growth management laws require that public services such as water and sewer lines, roads and schools be in place before new development is approved. Others direct local governments to make decisions in accordance with comprehensive plans that are consistent with plans for adjoining areas. This fact sheet provides basic information on growth management laws.