The Economic Perspective: “Zoning Wars”

I’m Mary Walden with economist MW welcoming you to the economic perspective.  Today’s program looks at zoning wars.  Mike, zoning has been a long-used technique to keep incompatible land uses separate in order to protect property values.  But I understand residential zoning is being reviewed in many communities.  Please give us an update.

  • Focus is on zoning limited development to single family homes
  • For example, many cities have R4 zoning, meaning there can be only four dwellings per acre
  • Precludes multi-family units
  • Now, some say such zoning contributes to high housing prices in fast growing cities
  • They want to revise, or even eliminate, zoning that is only compatible to single family development
  • Indeed, Minneapolis has outlawed this type of zoning
  • Concern is what this may do to property values of existing houses
  • The debate will continue
  • I’m MW

And I’m Mary Walden for the Economic Perspective, an NC State Extension program from the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.