Zoning

March 18, 2010, 9am PDT
A judge has overruled a voter-approved plan in the California city of Pleasanton to cap the number of new residences allowed in the city in an effort to curb the area's growing congestion.
San Francisco Chronicle
March 17, 2010, 10am PDT
WalMart made an offer to purchase a plot from a family in Frankenmuth, Michigan, but withdrew the offer when the City Council rezoned the land for a limited building size. The family sued, and a federal judge awarded them $3.6 million.
The Saginaw News
Blog post
March 16, 2010, 2pm PDT

Reason.tv has launched a multipart series of videos on how the city of Cleveland can turn itself around using free-market approaches and limited government reforms.

Samuel Staley
March 11, 2010, 8am PST
Most of the new housing units being occupied in New York City are illegal basement spaces. Bringing those spaces up to code could create thousands of units of affordable housing in the city.
Urban Omnibus
March 9, 2010, 12pm PST
The don't bite. They don't need much space. They follow kids around like a dog. We're talking about miniature goats. Planning commissions across the country are being asked to moved the hooved animals into the "pet" category.
USA Today
March 5, 2010, 9am PST
Food trucks are hot in Los Angeles, but local restaurateurs are understandably upset by the surprise competition. Mobile vendors have banded together and established a "gourmet food lot" downtown as a sort of solution.
GOOD Magazine
March 4, 2010, 11am PST
A judge has banned Brookyln architect Robert M. Scarano Jr from submitting building plans to the city after many of his buildings allegedly were built taller or larger than the plans portrayed.
The New York Times
March 4, 2010, 5am PST
While the basis of last week's ruling is a 7-acre property, the decision temporarily opens the door for all agriculturally zoned properties in the county to be subdivided into 1-acre parcels.
Richmond Times-Dispatch
February 21, 2010, 1pm PST
In Anchorage, Alaska, planners are rolling out a substantial new version of their zoning code, which includes some design requirements like no blank walls. Business owners are up in arms over the proposed changes.
Anchorage Daily News
February 7, 2010, 1pm PST
Food trucks are becoming an increasingly visible part of streetlife in many cities, but few have figured out how to deal with them from a policy standpoint.
The City Fix
February 4, 2010, 7am PST
The <em>Guardian</em> asks prominent thinkers what sort of city London will be in 20 years.
Guardian
January 9, 2010, 5am PST
New parking lots and obstructed views of historic buildings would be forbidden under a new set of zoning rules being discussed for downtown Baltimore.
The Baltimore Sun
December 18, 2009, 5am PST
As climate talks start and stop in Copenhagen, Anthony Flint argues for local action by affecting the built environment. He calls for more infill redevelopment, saying "we need more city".
The Boston Globe
December 9, 2009, 10am PST
A North Dakota man says he'll fight his city to keep his wind turbine.
The Bismarck Tribune
Blog post
December 4, 2009, 4pm PST

I am prompted to report on this issue I came across in a news item last week. A Baptist minister in Uniontown, Pennsylvania, buried his 18-year-old son, who died three days after a car crash on July 12, in the backyard of the pastor’s church. While state law doesn’t prohibit this, some county and local ordinances do, and this county, Fayette County, only allows burials on large parcels zoned for agricultural use. The church has only five acres and is in a residential zone.

Dwight Merriam
November 30, 2009, 7am PST
Like many American cities, Lansing, Michigan, has been afflicted with sprawl since the end of World War II. Locals have identified the culprit: separate-use zoning.
Lansing City Pulse
November 6, 2009, 10am PST
The Winterville, GA Planning Commission rejected the idea of creating a special "assisted residential district" for a center for developmentally disabled people, saying that the proposal was too vague.
The Athens Banner-Herald
November 5, 2009, 12pm PST
Growth is at a standstill in most western boomtowns, but not in well-planned, thriving South Jordan, UT. An expedited permitting process and good planning are given credit as catalysts for growth.
Desert News
November 4, 2009, 7am PST
The Seattle City Council has unanimously approved an ordinance that will allow owners of single family homes to construct additional cottage-like housing units on their property.
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Blog post
November 2, 2009, 2pm PST

"Don't Bogart That Joint, My Friend"

Lyrics: Lawrence Wagner
Music: Elliot Ingber

(on the soundtrack of "Easy Rider")

Chorus
Don't bogart that joint my friend
Pass it over to me
Don't bogart that joint my friend
Pass it over to me

Roll another one
Just like the other one
You've been holding on to it
And I sure will like a hit

[chorus]

Roll another one
Just like the other one
That one's burned to the end
Come on and be a real friend

[chorus]

Marijuana is prescribed for certain medical conditions, such as pain relief, control of nausea and vomiting, and appetite stimulation. Since 1996, at least 13 states have legalized the sale of medical marijuana.

Now, check your zoning regulations and see what districts allow this land use: "Retail Sales – Medical Marijuana." Couldn’t find it, right?

Dwight Merriam