Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Zoning Laws Grow Up

This city's zoning codes regulating the size, use and location of buildings could sap the life force out of all but the most zealous urban enthusiasts.
"Zoning has always concerned itself, for better or worse, with social matters, such as banishing noxious uses," said Julia Vitullo-Martin, a senior fellow at the Regional Plan Association. "What's different now is that the planning commission is moving from zoning that's negative on social issues to being positive, like mandating green markets and bike rooms.
It's reasonable for city government to encourage people to move in a beneficial direction. Whether zoning is the correct device is another matter. A market person might say it's better to go with incentives than mandates." As such, zoning is something of which every New Yorker and visitor ought to be aware.


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