What happens when a developer files for a building permit or submits a subdivision application — and the local government then changes its ordinance in a way that would prohibit the project as proposed? A look at the complex issue of “vested rights.”
Zoning & Land Use Regulations
“Zoning is merely a tool. It can be used constructively as a positive force for community good or it can be misused.” – Edward McMahon, from “What's So Bad About Zoning?”
Continue to older articles & posts — or return to newer ones — where you see the green buttons at the bottom of the page.
With the start of an economic recovery in much of the country, developers in many communities face the question of how to restart projects that have lied fallow or failed as a result of the great recession. A look at some of the legal issues involved.
Do you know it when you see it? A look at how to spot “spot zoning” situations, and consideration of the importance of the comprehensive plan in evaluating spot zoning.
If your community wants a more flexible approach to nonconformities, there are several ways to accommodate them, as Mark White discusses in the second part of his article.
Attorney and planner Mark White provides an overview of how communities can best deal with nonconforming uses, in the first of a two-part article.
Successful communities use education, incentives, partnerships, and voluntary initiatives not just regulation. While regulations are essential in setting minimum standards — and can prevent the worst in development — they rarely bring out the best.
We were excited to learn that one of the top land use lawyers in America, Dwight Merriam, and his colleague, Evan Seeman, have just started a blog dealing with RLUIPA, the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act.
The practice of bulldozing modest-size homes and replacing them with “McMansions” has alarmed many planners, neighborhood groups, and preservationists. How can communities respond?
PCJ Editor Wayne Senville talks to planner Wendy Grey about her article on the relationship of local comprehensive plans to zoning.
Strategies for improving how your planning and regulatory documents work together.
Should we focus more on responsible citizenry and less on complex codes? Some thoughts from PCJ columnist Ric Stephens.
One of a planner’s most important jobs is drafting clear and understandable ordinances. It’s also a task on which planning commissioners can offer valuable assistance.
Dan Zack, the Downtown Coordinator for Redwood City, California, has put together a quite interesting photo quiz on the density of various residential buildings. It’s the type of quiz you might want to put together your own city or region.