Supporting Small Businesses through Zoning

Monday, May 8, 2017 | 10:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.
CM | 1.25
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You'll learn about:

  • How zoning affects small businesses as they progress through common stages of growth

  • Why use categories are better suited to small businesses than overly specific use definitions

  • How to modify site and building development standards to create zoning districts that are small-business friendly

Being small-business friendly is key to enhancing economic resilience. Homegrown businesses create new jobs, contribute to a sense of place, and facilitate the adaptive reuse of existing structures. They are also more nimble than large firms, and when they do fail, small businesses have a much smaller proportionate effect on the local economy. Yet despite these benefits, many localities have outdated zoning codes that inadvertently stifle local entrepreneurs.

This session—sponsored by APA's Zoning Practice—will highlight how zoning regulations either help or hurt small businesses as they progress from sole proprietorships to hiring their first employees to becoming major contributors to local identity. You will learn how antiquated cumulative use permissions and overly specific use definitions can frustrate innovation and explore how categorical use classification and small-business-centric site and building development standards can foster a supportive environment for homegrown businesses. 



David Morley , AICP , American Planning Association , Chicago , IL (see bio)
Robert Azar , AICP , , Providence , RI (see bio)
Arista Strungys , AICP , , Chicago , IL (see bio)