Economic activity for any community is based on access and use of the land. The Fairbanks North Star Borough consists of 7,361 square miles of land and has a population of more than 83,000. Within the Borough, residents enjoy many different lifestyles. As growth occurs and population density increases conflicts arise between competing interests over the use of land. For some residents, the ability to earn a living, to live in a safe residential area, or to recreate and enjoy the land can be threatened as the intensity of land use increases.
To address these kinds of concerns, the State of Alaska has mandated the Borough to plan for its physical, social and economic development. This includes "platting and land use regulation on an area wide basis." In addition, Borough Code states that a base map, showing streets and plats, be prepared. The responsibility to perform these tasks has been given to the Department of Community Planning.