The first two questions face anyone who cares to distinguish the real from the unreal and the true from the false.
Flexible Zoning Techniques Floating Zones Basics — A floating zone is a zoning district that delineates conditions which must be met before that zoning district can be approved for an existing piece of land. Rather than being placed on the zoning map as traditional zones are, however, the floating zone is simply written as an amendment in the zoning ordinance.
Thus, the zone "floats" until a development application is approved, when the zone is then added to the official zoning map. Floating zones can be used to plan for future land uses that are anticipated or desired in the community, but are not confirmed, such as affordable housing, shopping centers, and urban development projects.
They can also be used for cluster zoning, planned-unit developments PUDsand urban development projects. Historical and Legal Implications — Rodgers v. Village of Tarrytown, N. The court found the rezoning was in accordance with a comprehensive plan and, as with the traditional zoning power, the town had the power to amend its basic zoning ordinance such that it reasonably promotes the general welfare.
Further favorable decisions have established floating zones as a viable planning tool. Discussion — Floating zones are helpful for communities where the direction of development and growth is uncertain or for communities that wish to achieve specific goals outlined in a comprehensive plan or other public documents.
It provides flexibility for developers, who can use the zone to obtain density bonuses, height extensions, etc. Critics, however, argue that floating zones undermine the ability of citizens to rely on the predictability of the zoning map and can favor private development over the public interest.
Overlay Zones Basics — An overlay zone is a zoning district which is applied over one or more previously established zoning districts, establishing additional or stricter standards and criteria for covered properties in addition to those of the underlying zoning district.
Communities often use overlay zones to protect special features such as historic buildings, wetlands, steep slopes, and waterfronts.
Overlay zones can also be used to promote specific development projects, such as mixed-used developments, waterfront developments, housing along transit corridors, or affordable housing. Historical and Legal Implications — As with traditional zoning, uses that can be justified as contributing to the health, safety, and welfare of the population are generally allowed to be regulated via overlay zoning.
Common regulations include those for historic districts, natural resource protection, and economic development, though local governments are given broad authority to determine what regulation is in their community's best interest. As with zoning, however, communities must be careful not to violate the "uniformity clause" of the Standard State Zoning Enabling Act by ensuring that all similar properties are treated similarly.
For further court opinions on the legality of overlay zoning, see Jachimek v. Superior Court, Ariz. City of Raleigh, S. Discussion — Overlay zones have the potential to be very effective governmental regulatory tools.
Since they tailor regulations to specific properties and districts to meet specific community goals, they can be more politically feasible to implement and can help communities meet stated goals or address specific inequities. On the other hand, they can create inefficiencies and inequities by applying regulations and restrictions to some properties and not others.
Moreover, additional regulations may increase time and expense both for developers and for the public bodies involved in the development approval process. Incentive Zoning Basics — Incentive zoning is a tool that allows a developer to develop in a way that ordinarily would not be permitted in exchange for a public benefit that would otherwise not be required.
Often written into the zoning ordnance, incentive zoning allows the city to leverage variations in existing zoning standards and obtain public goods.
For example, a developer may provide schools, parks, open space, plazas, low-income housing, or money, in exchange for greater flexibility in required building setbacks, floor heights, lot area, parking requirements, number of dwellings, and other minimum standards. The incentives vary by location, but governments usually calculate the incentives to balance the public advantage with the developer's costs and gains.
Historical and Legal Implications — Local governments have used incentive zoning to accomplish a wide range of goals, including historic preservation, economic development, and conservation.
Chicago first used incentive zoning in to stimulate skyscraper construction in its downtown area and New York followed shortly after, inin an attempt to create more public spaces and conserve historical buildings. Even though it is a voluntary mechanism, there have been several legal challenges to incentive zoning.
Legality varies by state, jurisdiction, and project. Generally, it is found to be legally acceptable if goals and definitions are laid out clearly in the ordinance.
The benefits must offset the negative effects of the bonus and the incentives or standards cannot be ruled as a taking or an exaction. Also, some courts have found the incentives illegal if the benefit and the existing standard are not directly related. For cases on incentive zoning see generally, Penn Cent.
New York City, U. Discussion — Since incentive zoning is intended to produce specific public amenities and types of development, it can be an effective tool for communities wishing to accomplish goals in a specific neighborhood or outlined in the comprehensive plan.
It also can help increase the number public goods available in the community. Communities with a high demand for land, well-established standards and demand for specific amenities may benefit the most from using incentive zoning. For communities considering incentive zoning, it is important to consider the hidden costs that might be associated with the project, including those that might be difficult to calculate in the long-term, such as infrastructure challenges, congestion, etc.
Performance Requirements Basics — An alternative to the traditional, conventional zoning method, performance standards regulate development by setting the desired goals to be achieved by regulation rather than regulating how those community goals are met.
Instead of restricting specific uses on a property, performance requirements allow any use that meets the set standard. Performance standards attempt to address the same goals desired by traditional zoning ordinances, such as environmental protection, neighborhood character, traffic control, etc.Certified Quality Auditor (ASQ Sample Exam paper) - Download as PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or read online.
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