Putting Exclusionary Zoning in its Place: Affordable Housing and Geographical Scale

29 Pages Posted: 24 Nov 2013

Date Written: November 22, 2013


The term “exclusionary zoning” typically describes a particular phenomenon: suburban large-lot zoning that reduces the supply of developable land and drives up housing prices. But exclusionary zoning in its modern form also occurs both within the urban core and region-wide. Exclusionary zoning at the sub-local and regional scales results in property values that fully capitalize the benefits of living in higher-wage regions, and the value of local public goods (like high-quality schools). Lower-income households then cannot meaningfully access those advantages, even if every municipality accommodates its fair share of regional need. The long-standing focus of exclusionary zoning on the content of local ordinances, instead of on these broader exclusionary dynamics, has defined the problem of exclusionary zoning too narrowly. We remedy that deficiency in our contribution to the Fordham Urban Law Journal’s Fortieth Anniversary issue.

Keywords: Zoning, Exclusionary Zoning, Land Use Controls, Urban Policy, Suburbs

Suggested Citation

Serkin, Christopher and Wellington, Leslie, Putting Exclusionary Zoning in its Place: Affordable Housing and Geographical Scale (November 22, 2013). 40 Fordham Urban Law Journal 1667 (2013), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2358673

Christopher Serkin (Contact Author)

Vanderbilt Law School ( email )

131 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37203
United States
615-343-6131 (Phone)

Leslie Wellington

Independent ( email )

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