Development Codes for Built Out Communities

Zoning Practice — August 2006

By Mark White, AICP


ZP subscriber
List Price
Sign In & Download

Not a member but want to buy a copy? You'll need to create a free My APA account to purchase. Create account

Since the advent of zoning, development codes have largely been used to harness the impacts of new growth. However, there remains little discussion about the role of development codes in communities where the supply of developable land is exhausted.

Accordingly, many planners working in mature, developed neighborhoods administer codes that were written primarily for new growth. As build out occurs, regulatory emphasis shifts from public improvements to urban design, from infrastructure capacity to maintenance, and from controlling the pace of development to finding lost space. This affects both the content of the code and the public process.

This issue of Zoning Practice addresses the unique concerns of applying development codes to built out communities, including ensuring appropriate context and managing the public process. It describes the development code issues facing communities as they approach build out, including techniques for prioritizing code issues, identifying tools and techniques to address those issues, and shepherding the code through the development approval process.


Page Count
Date Published
Aug. 1, 2006
Adobe PDF
American Planning Association

About the Author

Mark White, AICP
Mark White is an attorney and urban planner whose practice emphasizes zoning and code drafting. He has completed over 150 development code updates, zoning regulations, and comprehensive plan/smart growth implementation projects for local governments in over 36 states. He has extensive experience in dealing with sign regulations and is a frequent presenter on the subject. He is a member of the North Carolina and Missouri Bars, AICP, and the American Planning Association. Mr. White has a JD and Master of Regional Planning from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.