Zoning budget

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Mayors and city planning departments ought to regularly redraw the citywide zoning map to comprehend all pending development proposals, a process that would look something like an annual budgeting process. [Hills & Schleicher 2015]. 

 

from [Hills & Schleicher 2015]. 

"The solution to this housing crisis is economically simple but politically difficult. As a matter of economic rationality, local governments should deregulate their housing markets to allow an increased housing supply to meet a rising demand for housing. As a political matter, however, incumbent residents who already own housing vociferously and effectively protest against the reduction of zoning restrictions."

"How, then, to free up urban land markets from the stranglehold of zoning driven by NIMBY (not-in-my-back-yard) neighbors? We argue, paradoxically, that the solution to excessive zoning is centralized, comprehensive, and binding land-use planning.

"We argue in Part III.A that binding, comprehensive plans allow legislators to create “contracts” across electoral districts that are otherwise impossible when zoning proceeds through piecemeal lot-by-lot bargaining." Comprehensive plan. 

"We argue in Part III.B that parcel-by-parcel bargaining imposes high information costs on outside investors, thereby reducing the market for investment in new housing to a handful of local insiders with incentives to constrain supply."

"Prescriptions below in Part IV, including the idea that mayors and city planning departments ought to regularly redraw the citywide zoning map to comprehend all pending development proposals, a process that would look something like an annual budgeting process. [see Zoning budget -Yimbywiki]. Other proposals include fixed prices, defined ex ante in the zoning ordinance, for additional building rights [see Transfer of development rights -Yimbywiki] and prohibitions on any downzoning until citywide housing goals, defined with hard figures like vacancy rates or building permits issued, are met."  
 

 

from [Been et al 2017]:

Hills and Schleicher (2011) have proposed a zoning budget, where downzonings have to be matched by upzonings, for
example; fair share allocations of needed new supply may achieve similar purposes. 


References

  • Been, Vicki, Ingrid Gould Ellen, and Katherine O’Regan. “Supply Skepticism: Housing Supply and Affordability.” Draft, 26 Oct 2017. 
    http://www.law.nyu.edu/sites/default/files/Been%20Ellen%20O%27Regan%20supply_affordability_Oct%2026%20revision.pdf.
     
  • Hills, Roderick M. Hills, and David Schleicher. "Planning an Affordable City." 101 Iowa Law Review 91 (2015).
    https://ilr.law.uiowa.edu/print/volume-101-issue-1/planning-an-affordable-city/.
     
  • Schleicher, David, "Balancing the Zoning Budget." (2011). Faculty Scholarship Series. 4955. http://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/fss_papers/4955.
    Abstract: 
    "The politics of urban land use frustrate even the best intentions. A number of cities have made strong political commitments to increasing their local housing supply in the face of a crisis of affordability and availability in urban housing. However decisions to engage in "up-zoning"or increasing the areas in which new housing can be built, are often offset by even more "down-zoning" laws that decrease the ability of residents in a designated area to build new housing as-of-right. The result is that housing availability does not increase by anywhere near the amount that elected officials promised In this Article, we argue that the difficulty cities face in increasing local housing supply is a result of the seriatim nature of local land use decisions. Because each down-zoning decision has only a small effect on the housing supply, citywide forces spend little political capital fighting them, leaving the field to neighborhood groups who care deeply. Further, because down-zoning decisions are made in advance of any proposed new development, the most active interest group in favor of new housing-developers-takes a pass on lobbying. The result is an uneven playing field that favors downzoning."