Zoning Practice

Zoning Practice helps guide you as you write and administer smart development codes.

Zoning Practice coverIt's a fact. The zoning problem you're struggling with today has probably already been solved by somebody else. But how can you find out what's working without spending a lot of your valuable time?

Zoning Practice isn't just an interesting read. It's a toolbox chock full of information geared to inform and inspire, and to implement by planners for the purpose of smarter land-use practice.


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Current Issues

July 2015

Effective Zoning Counter Customer Service

While it is true that zoning regulations carry the weight of law, this does not negate the idea that residents, property owners, and business persons are looking for and deserve high-quality customer service. In most localities, zoning regulations are not self-explanatory. This requires staff to spend time with customers, which can increase the challenges (and stress) faced by departments whose staffs have been reduced. Creating great customer service at the zoning counter takes time, perseverance, and a good working relationship among staff.

This article sets out an approach to getting there through understanding what customer service means in your organization, defining new expectations, providing staff members the tools and training to meet those expectations, and sharing some dos and don'ts as a place to start.

Author Michael Blue, FAICP, is a principal with Teska Associates of Evanston, Illinois, a firm providing public- and private-sector clients with services related to planning, landscape architecture, site design, economic development, and community engagement. Author Graham Billingsley, FAICP, is a partner with the Orion Planning Group, a small national planning and design firm. Before founding Orion, he was land use director for Boulder County, Colorado, a position he held for 18 years.

June 2015

Value Capture and Community Benefits

Over the past 25 years, market-based regulatory strategies have become relatively common, though far from universal, in communities across the country. As planners seek to promote higher-density compact development in a climate of declining public revenues, it is imperative for them to help cities and counties capture a portion of the increases in land and development value resulting from the granting of additional development rights to provide public amenities.

This article highlights a number of promising approaches for capturing value created from land-use and other regulatory changes, focusing specifically on the new ways in which incentive zoning is being shaped and implemented in California.

Author Nico Calavita is professor emeritus in the graduate program in city planning at San Diego State University. He is coauthor of Public Benefit Zoning (East Bay Housing Organization, 2014) and Inclusionary Housing in International Perspective: Affordable Housing, Social Inclusion and Land Value Recapture (Lincoln Institute of Land Policy 2010).

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Zoning Practice Back Issues
American Planning Association
205 N Michigan Ave
Suite 1200
Chicago, IL 60601

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Share Your Expertise!

The editors of Zoning Practice welcome proposals from outside contributors, including those who may be writing for the publication for the first time. Contributors need not be professional planners, but they should have superior knowledge of a subject of substantial potential interest to Zoning Practice subscribers. We are especially eager to hear from potential authors with expertise on the following topics:

• Using development regulations to manage noise in mixed-use districts

• Visitability and housing for the aging

• Regulating short-term rentals

• Using zoning to promote walkable, mixed-use districts

• Zoning for healthy communities

• Hydraulic fracturing (aka "fracking") and land-use regulation

Make a proposal

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