One-District Zoning

Zoning Practice — June 2011

By Lane Kendig


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The majority of communities have far more zoning districts than they need to manage their growth and development. Having too many zoning districts creates problems.

An excessive number of residential districts encourages developers to seek zoning changes to increase the density, arguing that the small change is inconsequential. Euclidian zoning with excessive districts prohibits mixed uses. It also results in over-specialized districts that often require zoning changes to enable a business to use a site, which creates undue delays and can frustrate the market.

This issue of Zoning Practice presents an innovative proposal for a zoning ordinance that uses a single district to protect character in rural areas.


Page Count
Date Published
June 1, 2011
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American Planning Association

About the Author

Lane Kendig
Lane Kendig is the founder of Kendig Keast Collaborative a national planning firm. Prior to that he worked in Bucks County, PA and was county planning director in Lake County, IL. He has practiced planning for over 45 years across the United States working for large and small cities, counties, and developers. He is the author of “Performance Zoning” (APA 1980) and the Island Press books “Community Character” and “Planning with Community Character” 2010. He has authored three PAS reports for APA, as well as writing numerous articles. He is an expert in comprehensive planning, land use regulations, and environmental protection. Mr. Kendig has not only written plans and codes, but reviewed thousands of site plans and designed developments ranging from small residential to super regional shopping centers.