Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Inclusionary Zoning: Advice from Experience

The October 2007 issue of the ICMA Management Perspective reports that more and more municipalities are adopting inclusionary zoning measures to “ensure that their communities have enough housing for entry-level teachers, police officers, and other essential workers living on moderate incomes.”

Inclusionary zoning is intended to reverse the trend where “middle-income and working-class residents who don’t already own a home have been priced out of the communities where they work.” The article observes that the “lack of workforce housing affects overall quality of life, as more residents spend more time commuting long distances to their jobs.” In tailoring effective inclusionary zoning measures, local governments must balance community needs for moderately priced homes while ensuring that requirements and regulations don’t take too big a toll on the bottom line for builders. This means incentives for landowners including density bonuses which allow them to build more units on less land.

The article makes three recommendations for a successful inclusionary zoning program: inclusionary zoning must be mandatory, inclusionary zoning should apply to a broad spectrum of workforce income levels, and any campaign to implement inclusionary zoning requires broad-based support.

The article can be found here. Thanks to the Municipal Research and Services Center of Washington for reporting on this article.

No comments: