Better Way to Zone Ten Principles to Create More Livable Cities

ISBN-10: 1597261815
ISBN-13: 9781597261814
Edition: 2nd 2008
List price: $30.00 Buy it from $15.73
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Description: Nearly all large American cities rely on zoning to regulate land use. According to Donald L. Elliott, however, zoning often discourages the very development that bigger cities need and want. In fact, Elliott thinks that zoning has become so complex  More...

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Book details

List price: $30.00
Edition: 2nd
Copyright year: 2008
Publisher: Island Press
Publication date: 3/15/2008
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 256
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.990
Language: English

Nearly all large American cities rely on zoning to regulate land use. According to Donald L. Elliott, however, zoning often discourages the very development that bigger cities need and want. In fact, Elliott thinks that zoning has become so complex that it is often dysfunctional and in desperate need of an overhaul.A Better Way to Zoneexplains precisely what has gone wrong and how it can be fixed. nbsp; A Better Way to Zoneexplores the constitutional and legal framework of zoning, its evolution over the course of the twentieth century, the reasons behind major reform efforts of the past, and the adverse impacts of most current city zoning systems. To unravel what has gone wrong, Elliott identifies several assumptions behind early zoning that no longer hold true, four new land use drivers that have emerged since zoning began, and basic elements of good urban governance that are violated by prevailing forms of zoning. With insight and clarity, Elliott then identifies ten sound principles for change that would avoid these mistakes, produce more livable cities, and make zoning simpler to understand and use. He also proposes five practical steps to get started on the road to zoning reform. While recent discussion of zoning has focused on how cities should look,A Better Way to Zonedoes not follow that trend. Although New Urbanist tools, form-based zoning, and the SmartCode are making headlines both within and outside the planning profession, Elliott believes that each has limitations as a general approach to big city zoning. While all three trends include innovations that the profession badly needs, they are sometimes misapplied to situations where they do not work well. In contrast,A Better Way to Zoneprovides a vision of the future of zoning that is not tied to a particular picture of how cities shouldlook ,but is instead based on how cities shouldoperate .

Donald L. Elliott is an attorney and city planner with extensive experience in real estate and land use planning. He is a senior consultant in the Denver, Colorado, office of Clarion Associates, a national land-use and real estate consulting firm. Elliott is a Fellow of the American Institute of Certified Planners and a former project director for downtown and Gateway zoning for the City and County of Denver.

Acknowledgments
Introduction
A Brief History of Zoning
"Euclidean" Zoning
Standard Zoning and Planning Enabling Acts
Planned Unit Developments
Performance Zoning
Form-based Zoning
The Result: Euclidean Hybrid Zoning
Failed Assumptions
A Few General Rules Will Do It
Separate the Uses
Greenfield Standards Are Better
Variances Will Be Rare
Nonconformities Will Go Away
Zoning Rules Need to Be Static
Zoning Is a Technical Matter
Evolving Land Use Drivers
The Enormous Market
Tax Limits
Transportation Systems
Housing Affordability
NIMBYism
Governing Well
Effectiveness
Responsiveness
Fairness
Efficiency
Understandability
Predictable Flexibility
The Legal Framework for Change
Due Process
Regulatory "Takings" of Property
The First Amendment
Equal Protection
Vested Rights
Vagueness
Preemption by State and Federal Law
What Have We Learned?
Eight Lessons
Focusing on the Process of Zoning Change
A Better Way to Zone
More Flexible Uses
The Mixed-use Middle
Attainable Housing
Mature Areas Standards
Living with Nonconformities
Dynamic Development Standards
Negotiated Large Developments
Depoliticized Final Approvals
Better Webbing
Scheduled Maintenance
What About the Other Good Ideas?
The Way Forward
Audit for Specifics
Prioritize for Political Will
Draft for Integration
Illustrate How
Adopt the Possible
Suggested Reading List
Notes
Bibliography
Index

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