Meeting the Vacant Property Challenge

Zoning Practice — June 2010

By David Morley, AICP


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The ongoing foreclosure crisis and subsequent recession have led to the proliferation of vacant properties, both in perpetual hard-luck cities such as Detroit and in boomtowns such as San Diego. Local code enforcement officials are struggling to keep pace with inspections and nuisance abatement actions.

Without a comprehensive strategy for stabilizing and revitalizing vacant properties, many communities are looking at a struggle to contain blight and encourage reinvestment that could last years, if not decades.

This issue of Zoning Practice briefly examines the key components of successful comprehensive vacant property revitalization efforts and highlights specific regulatory and programmatic strategies that local governments can use to improve code enforcement efforts and facilitate the recycling of vacant properties.


Page Count
Date Published
June 1, 2010
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American Planning Association

About the Author

David Morley, AICP
David Morley, AICP, is a Research Program and QA Manager at the American Planning Association in Chicago, where he manages and contributes to sponsored research projects; manages the development of the Research KnowledgeBase; develops, organizes, and participates in educational sessions and workshops; and writes for APA publications. Mr. Morley also edits Zoning Practice.