Regulating the Architectural Character of a Community

Zoning Practice — July 2009

By James Brindell


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The physical and aesthetic character of a community is the sum of thousands of decisions made over time by public and private property owners in the development and redevelopment of parcels of land and the structures on those parcels. Some communities also employ architectural review processes to develop and maintain community character.

Architectural review programs represent significant intrusions by the government into the preferences of property owners in the way their homes or buildings look. The practical issues involve the types and specificity of those standards and their application by citizen boards.

This issue of Zoning Practice evaluates the problems with typical standards used in architectural review and offers suggestions to improve those standards.


Page Count
Date Published
July 1, 2009
Adobe PDF
American Planning Association

About the Author

James Brindell