What Zoning Can and Can't Do

The powers, and the limitations, of zooming are explained in a series of posts on Greater Greater Washington.
January 8, 2018, 5am PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Bryan Barnett-Woods, a transportation planner for the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission in Prince George's County, Maryland.

Because "zoning codes also are often seen as a vehicle for all kinds of desired changes in a community," according to Barnett-Woods, they can be easily abused and misused. As Barnett-Woods argues, "shoehorning some types of changes in via zoning laws is a bad idea."

Thus Barnett-Woods produces two lists. One is a list of ends that do not suit the means of zoning. The second is a list of ends that do suit zoning well.

The list of what zoning can't achieve includes goals like forcing businesses to locate in an area, forcing business to leave an area, and limiting the number of people who live somewhere, among others. On the list of goals zoning can help achieve, Barnett-Woods includes regulating the use of land, regulating the form of buildings, and regulating the intensity of uses, among others.

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Published on Thursday, January 4, 2018 in Greater Greater Washington
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