Better Zoning on the Web

Zoning Practice — October 2008

By Donald Elliott, FAICP


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The internet is transforming the field of planning in myriad ways. Combinations of Google Earth images, GIS database layers, visualization tools, and infinitely manipulable census and survey information have dramatically increased the data and analytical tools available to planners.

Virtually no aspect of planning has been untouched by this revolution. The changes have not been quite so dramatic in the field of land-use regulation, though virtually all cities now have an electronic version of their zoning and subdivision codes, searchable by keywords.

This issue of Zoning Practice identifies four technology-related changes that will transform the organization, use, and maintenance of local land-use laws.


Page Count
Date Published
Oct. 1, 2008
Adobe PDF
American Planning Association

About the Author

Donald Elliott, FAICP
Donald L. Elliott, FAICP, is a Senior Consultant with Clarion Associates, LLC, a national land use consulting firm. Don’s practice focuses on land development regulation, fair and affordable housing, and international land and urban development issues. Don has assisted over 70 U.S. communities to update plans and regulations related to housing, zoning, subdivision, fair housing, and land development. He is the author of A Better Way to Zone (Island Press 2008), co-author of The Rules that Shape Urban Form (APA 2012) and The Citizen’s Guide to Planning (APA 2009) and has served as the editor of Colorado Land Planning and Development Law for 30 years. Don teaches graduate level course on Land Use Regulation at the University of Colorado at Denver School of Architecture and Planning and is a former member of the Denver Planning Board. Don has a bachelor’s degree in Urban Planning and Policy Analysis from Yale University, a law degree from Harvard Law School, and a master’s degree in City and Regional Planning from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.