Welcome to the Neighborhood: Using Zoning to Build Inclusive Communities

APA Virginia Chapter


Tuesday, July 24, 2018
4 p.m. - 5 p.m. EDT

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Nearly 500 cities and counties across the nation have some form of "inclusionary zoning" which incentivizes the set-aside of affordabledwelling units (ADUs) in new residential construction. In Virginia, we have an array of successful, productive, ineffective, and nonexistent ADU ordinances. This session will explore the genesis of inclusionary zoning, review how it works in theory and in practice, and provide best practices for planners looking to make their communities more inclusive.

The first part of this session will briefly review the origins of inclusionary zoning in the United States and Virginia, examine the major and minor components of ADU policies, and review best practices for creating inclusionary zoning programs from brainstorming to implementation. Alternatives to inclusionary zoning, such as housing trust funds and land banks, will be discussed as part of more holistic inclusionary housing strategies. Specific attention will be paid to the differences in rural, suburban, and urban housing markets – and the precise housing needs in each. This introduction will also provide the audience with innovative solutions for overcoming NIMBYism and the stigma associated with affordable housing in general.

The second part of this session will present the legal framework for inclusionary zoning in Virginia, which is currently regulated by a bifurcated enabling act. The legislation permits mandatory ADU ordinances in just six localities; the remainder of the commonwealth may only create voluntary ordinances. Planners will need to understand this complexity to draft successful policies.

The third part of this session will focus on best practices for inclusionary zoning programs, including detailed analysis of one of the most successful ADU programs in the nation: Fairfax County, VA. Recommendations and guidelines will be presented that help practitioners investigate the need for, build public support for, design, implement, and evaluate inclusionary housing programs.

Finally, attendees will hear about one of the alternative best practices that can be used in conjunction with, or instead of, inclusionary zoning: promoting abundant “missing middle” housing, which includes any housing density between duplexes and small multifamily buildings. Homes at this scale often have the benefit of being less expensive, while also complimenting existing single-family neighborhood character. Unfortunately, much of our modern zoning and development regulations have not been helpful for creating this type of mid-scale housing, and this type of smaller scale development is often not as financially feasible as larger scale projects.


Jonathan Knopf

Confirmed Speaker

Jonathan is the Senior Associate for Research and Programs at HDAdvisors, providing data collection and analysis for affordable housing nonprofits across Virginia. He specializes in using GIS to create maps that help tell the story of housing needs throughout the state. His research covers inclusionary zoning, real estate market analysis ... Read More

Thomas Silverstein

Confirmed Speaker

Thomas Silverstein is the George N. Lindsay Fellow and associate counsel in the Fair Housing & Community Development Project at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. The goal of Thomas’s fellowship is to increase compliance with the duty to affirmatively further fair housing (AFFH). Thomas’s work ... Read More

Fred Selden

Confirmed Speaker


Michelle Winters

Confirmed Speaker


Contact Info

Andrew Hopewell, andrew.hopewell@fauquiercounty.gov