Zoning Codes

New York City Zoning Map

Watch: Why and How to Abolish Zoning

Author M. Nolan Gray and Planetizen Editorial Director James Brasuell recently discussed zoning abolition and other concepts discussed in Gray's book, "Arbitrary Lines," published recently by Island Press.

July 26, 2022 - Island Press via YouTube

Cover graphic for Arbitrary Lines book

Book Review: Arbitrary Lines

In addition to attacking zoning laws' limitations on housing, Gray argues that zoning fails to limit nuisances.

July 18, 2022 - Michael Lewyn

Los Angeles STreet

Can Los Angeles Join the Anti-Gas Station Movement?

A growing number of cities in California have prohibited the construction of new gas stations. Los Angeles could soon consider an ordinance to do the same—in a landmark move for the city some believe to be a symbol of car-dependent sprawl.

July 14, 2022 - Los Angeles Times

Side-by-side brick duplexes pictured on a sunny day.

What Is a Non-Conforming Use?

A non-conforming use is an existing building that would not be built under current land use regulations. While esoteric, the term is nonetheless critical to understanding the changes in development regulations over time.

July 13, 2022 - James Brasuell

YIMBY

What Is a YIMBY?

YIMBY, an acronym standing for "Yes In My Backyard," describes advocates who support housing development as a response to the outcomes of restrictive zoning and planning policies.

June 29, 2022 - James Brasuell

A map showing the city of mesquite with surrounding freeways, roads, and cities.

Dallas-Area City Wants to Increase Minimum Home Size to 2,000 Square Feet

While some cities are finding ways to add density and use zoning as a tool for affordability, Mesquite, Texas is headed the other direction.

June 29, 2022 - The Dallas Morning News

Seattle Construction

Seattle Ponders a New Approach to Zoning for its Comprehensive Plan Update

The city of Seattle will have an updated comprehensive plan by the end of 2024, with zoning changes to follow by 2025.

June 28, 2022 - The Urbanist

"You are entering Jackson's downtown historic district" brown sign

What Is an Overlay District?

A zoning overlay district superimposes an additional set of regulations over an existing zoning district, or multiple zoning districts.

June 15, 2022 - Diana Ionescu

A row of multistory, brick buildings in a small U.S. city, with retail uses on the ground floor and apartments above.

What Is Incremental Planning?

The concept of incrementalism can be applied to numerous fields and disciplines—one of which is planning. In the field of planning, the word incremental is usually used as an adjective to describe other planning words, such as code reform and development.

May 31, 2022 - James Brasuell

Public Comment

What Is a Planning Commission?

Planning commissions fill an influential advisory role in planning processes, maintaining citizen oversight of government planning powers and also providing a public forum for debate about the future of communities.

May 24, 2022 - James Brasuell

Top Books

An annual review of books related to planning.

Top Websites

The best of the Internet—since 2002.

Top Apps

Planning apps for a brave new world.

Top Schools

The definitive ranking of graduate planning programs.

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Hand Drawing Master Plans

This course aims to provide an introduction into Urban Design Sketching focused on how to hand draw master plans using a mix of colored markers.