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.
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?”
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. As Seeman describes it: “It’s all about how municipalities may defend against claims taken under RLUIPA.” If your community faces RLUIPA issues, we’re sure this will be a valuable resource.
The principal tool used in communities across the country to implement comprehensive plans is zoning. These articles from the Planning Commissioners Journal — starting with three short articles by planning historian Laurence Gerckens — provide a primer on the use of zoning, and some of the legal issues that can come up.
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.
The impact of zoning regulations on religious institutions is a complex and evolving area of law. A primer on key issues citizen and professional planners should be familiar with.
The residents and business owners of Saratoga Springs, New York, treasure their downtown. With its wide sidewalks, Broadway is lined with stores, restaurants, banks, historic hotels, and a wonderful park. Two planning priorities: increase the amount of housing downtown and ensure retail on the ground floor of buildings.