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.

Read a sample issue

Current Issues

December 2015

Codifying Zoning's Little Helpers

Since its inception, the primary purpose of zoning has been to control the form and function of future development by dividing a local jurisdiction into "zones" or "districts" with different permissible "uses" or "structures." While the first zoning codes were narrowly focused on district-based use permissions and dimensional standards, it wasn't long before many zoning codes started to grow, seemingly exponentially, in scope and specificity.

This article looks at the intersections between zoning and other specialized local regulations that affect the use of land and proposes a framework for making codification decisions about land-use related ordinances.

Author David M. Morley, AICP, is a senior research associate with the American Planning Association. Since 2007 he has served as coeditor of Zoning Practice and has contributed to APA research projects on topics including brownfields redevelopment, complete streets, urban agriculture, shrinking cities, solar energy, disaster recovery, green infrastructure, and megaregional planning.

Author Nicholas A. Walny is an intern with the APA Hazards Planning Center. He has a master in science degree in Urban Planning from Oxford University in England, where he interned with the Oxford City Council Planning Department, and a BA in Urban Studies from Wayne State University.

November 2015

Tiny Houses, and the Not-So-Tiny Questions They Raise

Interest in tiny houses is on the rise across the country, but for planners these small, trailer-mounted cabins can raise a host of regulatory questions. Are they houses or trailers? Could they be occupied permanently under current local regulations? This article reviews how these units fit into the general U.S. system of land-use control through building codes, zoning ordinances, subdivision regulations, and private restrictive covenants. In addition to addressing individual tiny homes, it addresses methods for permitting small communities of tiny homes.

Author Donald L. Elliott, FAICP, is a director in the Denver office of Clarion Associates, a former chapter president of APA's Colorado Chapter and a former chair of APA's Planning and Law Division. As a planner and lawyer he has assisted more than 40 North American cities and counties to reform and update their zoning, subdivision, housing, and land-use regulations. He has also consulted in Russia, India, Lebanon, and Indonesia, and served as USAID Democracy and Governance Advisor in Uganda for two years. Elliott is a member of the Denver Planning Board.

Author Peter Sullivan, AICP, is a senior associate in the Chapel Hill, North Carolina, office of Clarion Associates, whose specializations include zoning and comprehensive planning. A Pacific Northwest native, his professional background includes policy and environmental planning and development review. Sullivan is a former officer with Toastmasters International and former member of the University of Washington's Urban Design and Planning Professionals Council. He is currently a correspondent for Planetizen.com and enjoys speaking as academic guest lecturer, webinar host, and conference presenter. Sullivan's project work has been recognized by the Washington State Governor's Office, Puget Sound Regional Council, and APA's Washington Chapter.

To purchase individual issues of Zoning Practice

Send a check for $10 per issue to:

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

Please include a list of the individual issues desired with your payment.

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:

• Minimizing reliance on discretionary approvals

• Zoning for fair housing

• Regulating distributed antenna systems

• Impact fees

• Conducting a synoptic survey

Make a proposal

Digital Archive

Print Zoning Practice right from your PC. Issues in pdf format are available free to subscribers.

Read all the issues

Ask the Author

Zoning Practice made it possible for subscribers to ask authors questions about their articles. Read the archive of questions and answers.

Ask the Author Archive (subscribers only)