Consolidating Zoning Districts
Zoning Practice — February 2012
By Donald Elliott, FAICP
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As cities grow and counties mature, they need to accommodate new kinds of development, and that often leads to the creation of new zoning districts. They don't exactly breed like rabbits, but they do tend to proliferate over time.
Proliferation of zone districts creates several problems, none of them fatal but most of them annoying. First, the creation of a new district needs to be reflected in all of the non-district based-controls in the zoning code. A second problem is that proliferation of zone districts make it hard for staff, citizens, and investors to understand and remember how the code works.
This issue of Zoning Practice presents a common sense approach to consolidating zoning districts with an eye toward more effective development regulation and user-friendly administration. And it highlights successful consolidation efforts from Duluth, Minnesota; Winnipeg, Manitoba; and Philadelphia.
About the Author
Donald Elliott, FAICP
Donald L. Elliott, FAICP, is a Sennior Cosultant with Clarion Associates, LLC, a national land use consulting firm. Don has assisted over 70 U.S. and Caadian communities to update plans and regulations related to housing, zoning, sustainability, fair housing, and land development. He teaches a graduate level course on Land Development Regulatiion at the University of Colorado at Denver and is a former member of the Denver Plannig Board. He is the author of A Better Way to Zone (Island Press 2008) and co-author of The Rules that Shape Urban Form (APA 2012) and The Citizen's Guide to Planning (APA 2009). Don has a bachelor’s degree in Urban Planning and Policy Analysis from Yale University, a law degree from Harvard Law School, and a master’s degree in City and Regional Planning from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.