Sustainability: Illegal because of zoning?

There is a nice post at a blog called “Changing Gears: Remaking the Manufacturing Belt,” that makes some great points about form based code. What’s great about this post is less what it says–mix up uses and avoid monozoning–than who’s saying it. The Ohio town that is starting to crack their code open to allow for mixed use might seem sort of a throwback. But they get it, sometimes I think more than us big city folk.

“A place where they can walk to a corner store, maybe live above a store, says Anthony Flint of the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. “And, those kinds of things, that’s illegal in America today in so many of our communities. “

Illegal because of zoning.  In many cities and towns, zoning codes don’t allow living and working in the same place. And, when zoning spread across the country in the 1920s and 30s, that was considered a good thing.

We might laugh and say, “oh we have plenty of mixed use here!” Well, not so much. Remember Seattle has about two-thirds of its zones designated as single-family. Talk about monozoning.

As I wrote in a post called “Legalize Neighborhood Density” Seattle isn’t too far ahead of Streetsboro. It’s time to get more aggressive about mixing up uses here, too.

Hat Tip to Lora Lucero for sharing the Changing Gears Blog Post on Facebook.

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