Purpose - Dutch municipalities have an important role in the land market. They may act as an active stakeholder in land developments. At the same time, municipalities are entitled to set the land use policies. As a result, Dutch municipalities are the largest land owners present at the Dutch land market. The impact of the economic crisis badly damaged the financial situation of the municipalities due to their large land portfolio. Therefore, it is important to quantify those risks and test new land use policy solutions for the most risky cases.Design/methodology/approach – First, to indicate which municipalities have the highest financial risk, this paper applies a multi criteria analysis with publicly available financial data from each of 67 municipalities in Noord-Brabant region, the Netherlands. Second, 3 relevant cases within the most vulnerable municipalities were selected in order to derive 2 sustainable land use policy and relevant criteria to estimate their application potential. To estimate the importance of the success criteria and rate the potential policies a fuzzy Delphi method is used. Additionally, we distinguish two groups of experts, municipality (13 participants) and independent consultants (15 participants). Fuzzy Delphi technique is considered as an excellent method to gather such diverse panel data since it supports expert diversity in its procedure and calculation.Findings - This paper benchmarks the municipalities with the greatest financial risks and investigates the applicability of sustainable land use intervention policies.Originality/value – First, this paper reveals the severity of the financial situation of municipalities that took the active role in land market. In addition, this paper contributes to the larger pool of possible sustainable land use policies by identifying, structuring and rating the most relevant criteria to test the best applicable policy. For this purpose, we introduced the method that highlights the importance of rigorous procedure for the panel data collection and advances the weighting of the criteria and rating of potential new land use policies. This is of particular importance for the policy makers since the future land use influences the future marketability and cost of a development.