US Zoning & Land Use: Universal Legal, Financial, and Stakeholder Strategies in Real Estate Development

Harvard GSD Executive Education
Wednesday April 3, 2024

Dive into the legal, financial, and psychological considerations of modern permitting and entitlements in real estate development in this interactive online program.

Led by a dynamic instructor duo with decades of insider insights in zoning and development, who will use a real-world case study, active discussion of current trends, a mock-trial-style Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) hearing, and a proprietary financial “Go” / “No-Go” decision-making model to go beyond surface-level insights. 

Attendees can expect to emerge from this program ready to deploy new core skills in permitting finance, decision-making, run through the lens of the ultimate externality – people, priorities, personalities, and our built environment.

The program will begin with a quick refresher of the legal principles of modern US zoning, followed by an immersion into the practical applications of zoning, with discussion of topics including both inclusionary and exclusionary zoning and Short-Term Rental Units (STRUs). This will include the financial “Go” / “No-Go” decision-making process, all run through the lens of the ever-changing psychology of the ultimate “externality” – the human factor and condition.

Following a robust Socratic style of class discussion and debate, attendees will dive into the practical applications of the American entitlement process by examining real-world projects which pivoted on zoning relief.

The program will culminate in the final session, with a mock-trial-style exercise during which the instructors will reanimate a past real-world Zoning Hearing, turning the original framework and transcript of that public hearing into a capstone learning experience. Attendees will be assigned roles lifted directly from the original zoning hearing, such as developer/applicant, professionals, abutters, public interest groups, city elected officials, stakeholders, YIMBY(s) & NIMBY(s), supporters, and Zoning Board of Appeals members. The Zoning Board of Appeals will be chaired and moderated by your instructors and modeled under a Roberts Rules style of proceedings.

Once the vote is in the instructors will guide the class in an open discussion, a post-mortem to examine “what happened and why.” Will our reenactment resemble the case study – or will it diverge from what happened in the real world?

Posted January 26, 2024

Planetizen Courses logo

Planetizen Courses: Online Training in Urban Planning

Access more than 250 urban planning courses on your computer, phone, or tablet. Learn today, plan for tomorrow.

View Courses

Edmonton, Canada

Planetizen AICP Exam Prep Class logo

Planetizen AICP* Exam Prep Class

90% of students who took our class passed the exam and became AICP* certified.

View Class

image of laptop and class instructor Jeff Levine