Putting Sustainable Zoning into Practice

Zoning Practice — July 2013

By Elizabeth Garvin, AICP



Significant environmental, economic, and social challenges that are regional, national, or global in cause are increasingly the subject of local responsibility and action. This trend is partially attributable to recession-related federal budget reductions, but it's also related to increasing citizen pressure to "act locally."

Often, the drive to resolve these issues locally is pushed by residents and businesses who want more sustainable communities; that is, communities that are more resilient in the face of anticipated (and unanticipated) future change. To meet these demands, many communities are making changes to their local land development regulations so that sustainability is both figuratively and literally built-into the process and outcome.

This issue of Zoning Practice provides a survey of current and emerging sustainable zoning provisions available at the local level. And it highlights the purpose and general approach for each category of regulation.


Page Count
Date Published
July 1, 2013
Adobe PDF
American Planning Association

About the Author

Elizabeth Garvin, AICP
Elizabeth has 26 years of experience preparing zoning codes for communities across the country, including traditional and FBC/hybrid codes, subdivision regulations, and sustainability standards. Lately, she spends a lot of making sign codes Reed compliant. Prior to founding Community ReCode, Elizabeth was the planning director for a corporate consulting group, practiced law, and worked at a well-regarded boutique planning firm. Ms. Garvin is an advisory board member for the Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute and is a frequent speaker and author on planning and regulatory topics, including the July 2019 APA Zoning Practice article: A Framework for Promoting Equity Through Zoning.