A Framework for Promoting Equity Through Zoning

Zoning Practice — July 2019

By Elizabeth Garvin, AICP


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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 issue 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.


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Date Published
July 1, 2019
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American Planning Association

About the Author

Elizabeth Garvin, AICP
Elizabeth has 26 years of experience preparing zoning codes for communities across the country, including traditional and FBC/hybrid codes, subdivision regulations, and sustainability standards. Lately, she spends a lot of making sign codes Reed compliant. Prior to founding Community ReCode, Elizabeth was the planning director for a corporate consulting group, practiced law, and worked at a well-regarded boutique planning firm. Ms. Garvin is an advisory board member for the Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute and is a frequent speaker and author on planning and regulatory topics, including the July 2019 APA Zoning Practice article: A Framework for Promoting Equity Through Zoning.