Exclusionary zoning is a term that, in the United States, has come to be applied to local zoning measures that appear to impose unnecessary or unjustifiable costs or requirements facially or by execution excluding various groups of ‘undesirables.'
Before the 1960’s, these measures were generally seen as a means to maintain or improve living conditions, community, open space, aesthetics, etc. It wasn’t until relatively recently that courts turned away from local interests to regional impact on housing holding exclusionary zoning to be unlawful in certain circumstances.
"Inclusionary zoning" refers to municipal and county planning ordinances that require that a given share of new construction be affordable housing for people with low to moderate incomes and is derived to counter exclusionary zoning practices.
With the 1926 case of the Village of Euclid, Ohio v. Ambler Realty Co. zoning based on economic income was justified and set the stage for beyond use-based zoning: “This segregation, once applied only to incompatible uses, is now applied to every use. A typical contemporary zoning code has several dozen land-use designations; not only is housing separated from industry but low-density housing is separated from medium density housing, which is separated from high density housing.” In addition to economic segregation, cases regarding racial segregation through zoning began to pop up mid-century. It was until the late 1960’s and early 1970’s along with the Civil Rights movement and the Fair Housing Act that the constitutional inequities being created through exclusionary zoning started to successfully be held up in court. Today, whether a case deems a zoning ordinance exclusionary depends on the state and the court as much as the details of the zoning ordinance and city involved, though there appears to be a trend of stricter review of local zoning ordinances. While courts in zoning's early years often tipped the scales in favor of less interference with local legislation, in many states this has changed: as courts have grown jaded due to the practice of zoning authorities to both over and under-regulate the intensity of their review.
- Many wealthy suburban communities have single family residential areas zoned such that very large and expensive lots, and architectural features are required of development.
- Zoning that requires expensive features such as large lots, elaborate architectural detail, or other features inherently excludes people who cannot afford those features.
Case History Edit
- 1926 Village of Euclid, Ohio v. Ambler Realty Co. 272 U.S. 365: Established right to zone; economic segregation justified
- 1942 Simon v. Town of Needham 419 Pa. 504: 1 acre lot size upheld
- 1949 Duffcon Concrete Products v. Cresskill 1. N.J. 509: Total exclusion of LULUs upheld
- 1952 Lionshead v. Wayne 10 N.J. 165: Floor space provision upheld; prevention of ‘shanties’ justified
- 1965 National Land and Investment Co v. Kohn 419 Pa. 504: 4 acre lot size struck down
- 1970 Appeal of Girsh 437 Pa. 237: Luxury apartments allowed because they are “not a burden”
- 1975 NAACP v. Mount Laurel 67 N.J. 151: Established Fair Share/“realistic opportunity for low income housing”
- 1976 Associated Home Builders v. Livermore 18 Cal.3d 582: Infrastructure limitations served as shield to prevent development
- 1977 Arlington Heights v. Metropolitan Housing Corp. 429 U.S. 252: Reinforced parochial zoning; Disparate Impact Test failed
- 1979 Home Builders v. Berlin 81 N.J. 127: Minimum floor space struck down
- 1981 Robinson v. Knoll 410 Mich. 293: Prohibiting Mobile homes deemed an invalid exercise of police power
- 1983 Mount Laurel II 92 N.J. 158: Gave “teeth”/implementation forces to Fair Share rule
- 1988 NAACP v. Huntington 844 F.2d 926: Disparate Impact Test won
- 1991 Britton v. Town of Chester 134 N.H. 434: Multifamily zoning effectively exclusionary; regional scale perspective
- 1995 City of Edmonds v. Oxford House Inc. 514 U.S. 725: “Reasonable Accommodation” in flux
Bibliography of works cited Edit
- Juergensmeyer, Julian, et al. Land Use Planning, Thomson West: 2003
- Briffault and Reynolds. State and Local Government Law: Sixth Edition: 2001
See also Edit
- 1. Duany, Andres, Plater-Zyberk, Elizabeth, and Speck, John. Suburban Nation: The Rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream, North Point Press: 2000
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