A Framework for Promoting Equity Through Zoning

Zoning Practice — July 2019

By Elizabeth Garvin, AICP


ZP subscriber
List price

People who care very deeply about their communities are examining the long-term results of zoning, and they don’t like what they see. Eliminating zoning, as some propose, for a newer or better approach will most likely substitute a different unfair result for the current unfair result. The development patterns that zoning creates in our communities are a result of the local inputs and decisions made by residents, planners, and elected officials. “Zoning” does not make land-use decisions, communities do.

This edition of Zoning Practice discusses why modern zoning has not produced equitable outcomes, identifies development outcomes that would be more equitable for local communities, and highlights broad opportunities for zoning reforms to support those outcomes.


Page Count
Date Published
July 1, 2019
Adobe PDF
American Planning Association

About the Author

Elizabeth Garvin, AICP
Elizabeth Garvin Esq., AICP, is a planner, attorney, and the founding principal of Community ReCode. She has prepared traditional and FBC/hybrid zoning codes for cities and counties across the country, drafted topic-specific code provisions addressing sustainability and water-conserving redevelopment, and lately spends a substantial portion of her time bringing sign codes into compliance. Prior to founding Community ReCode, Elizabeth was the planning director for a corporate consulting practice, practiced law, and worked as a senior staff member at a well-regarded boutique planning firm. Ms. Garvin serves as an advisory board member for the Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute and is a frequent speaker and author on planning and regulatory topics, including authoring the RMLUI Legal Corner for The Western Planner.