Zoning laws are found in virtually every municipality in the United States, affecting land use, lot size, building heights, density, setbacks, and other aspects of property use.
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Before you search elsewhere, take advantage of the research we've already done for you. Formerly known as Field Guides, References tabs contain links to external articles, titles from the NAR Library eBooks collection, websites, statistics, and other material to provide a comprehensive overview of perspectives on each topic. EBSCO articles (E) are available only to NAR members and require a password.
How not to zone out on zoning, (Public Management, Jan./Feb. 2013) E
Understanding zoning ordinances, (Public Management, Nov. 1999) E
Understanding zoning, licensing, and permits, (Dummies Blog, 2012)
Impacts of Zoning
The Effect of Downzoning for Managing Residential Development and Density, (Land Economics, May 2016) E
How Zoning Regulations Impact City Development, (Market Realist, Jan. 2016)
Effects of zoning on housing option value, (Journal of Business & Economics Research, May 2011) E
Measuring the Property-Value Effects of Local Land Use and Preservation Referenda, (Land Economics, Feb. 2010) E
Unintentional redlining? Zoning ordinances and the living wage, (Real Estate Issues, Fall 2007) E
Housing costs, zoning, and access to high-scoring schools, (The Brookings Institution, Apr. 2012)
Zoning Boards & Legal Issues
Overlooking Zoning, Codes Leads to Higher Costs, Value Impairment, (Real Estate Finance & Investment, June 2014) E
ABCs of local land use and zoning decisions, (Florida Bar Journal, Jan. 2010) E
Buyer Beware: Today's distressed market puts a premium on due diligence, (CIRE Magazine, May-June 2009)
How to cope with zoning boards, (SmartMoney)
Contemprorary zoning conflicts: An evolving landscape presents new challenges, (Commercial Investment Real Estate, Jan./Feb. 2012)
How to research local zoning laws, (eHow.com)
Zoning for and against sprawl: The case for form-based codes, (Journal of Urban Design, May 2013) E
Form follows function? How America zones, (Planning Practice & Research, Apr. 2013) E
Section 17: Form-based codes, (NAR Growth Management Fact Book, 2011)
Zoning for prosperity: Streamlined regulations and urban design guidelines as an economic development strategy, (On Common Ground, Feb. 2013)
Better Zoning through Breaking Old Codes: Form-based codes have emerged as a powerful tool for city planners who want to stop the sprawl that’s resulted from bad zoning rules, (Governing Magazine, Mar. 2011)
Brave New Codes: Cities and towns across the country are abandoning conventional zoning codes in favor of a new urbanist alternative, the form-based code. Some architects have embraced the change, but others are wary, (Architect Magazine, July 2010)
A new kind of zoning: Communities of all sizes are adopting form-based codes, (On Common Ground, Winter 2010)
The evolution of zoning since the 1980s: The persistence of localism, (Dartmouth College Department of Economics, 2010)
The Codes Project: An Anthology of Regulations That Have Shaped Urban Form — A searchable archive of zoning laws, land use development codes, building design codes, and other influential documents, ranging from 360 BC to modern times
MuniCode.com Online Library, (Municipal Code Corporation) — Directory of zoning and other municipal ordinance codes for many U.S. towns, cities, and counties
eBooks & Other Resources
The following eBooks and digital audiobooks are available to NAR members:
Community Planning: An Introduction to the Comprehensive Plan (Kindle, Audiobook, eBook)
A Better Way to Zone: Ten Principles to Create More Livable Cities (Kindle, Audiobook, eBook)
Books, Videos, Research Reports & More
The resources below are available for loan through Information Services. Up to three books, tapes, CDs and/or DVDs can be borrowed for 30 days from the Library for a nominal fee of $10. Call Information Services at 800-874-6500 for assistance.
City Rules: How Regulations Affect Urban Form, by Emily Talen, (Island Press, 2012)
The complete guide to zoning: How real estate owners and developers can create and preserve property value, by Dwight H. Merriam, (McGraw-Hill, 2005)
City economics, by Brendan O’Flaherty, (Harvard University Press, 2005)
Zoning and the American dream: Promises still to keep, by Charles Haar & Jerold Kayden, (Planners Press, 1989)
The economics of zoning laws, by William Fischel, (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1985)
The zoning game revisited, by Richard F. Babcock & Charles L. Siemon, (Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, 1985)
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