The Euclid Proviso

71 Pages Posted: 17 Mar 2021 Last revised: 29 Oct 2021

See all articles by Ezra Rosser

Ezra Rosser

American University - Washington College of Law

Date Written: Oct. 28, 2021


This article argues that the Euclid Proviso, which allows regional concerns to trump local zoning when required by the general welfare should play a larger role in zoning’s second century. Traditional zoning operates to severely limit the construction of additional housing, which locks in the advantages of homeowners but at tremendous cost, primarily in the form of unaffordable housing, to those who would like to join the community. State preemption of local zoning defies traditional categorization; it is at once both radically destabilizing and market responsive. But, given the ways in which zoning is a foundational part of the racial and economic status quo, it is time for scholars and policymakers to move away from traditional zoning and towards more permissive regional or state approaches to housing development.

Keywords: Zoning, Property, Affordable Housing, Euclid

JEL Classification: R14, R21, R31, R52

Suggested Citation

Rosser, Ezra, The Euclid Proviso (Oct. 28, 2021). 96 WASH. L. REV. 811 (2021), American University, WCL Research Paper No. 2021-18, Available at SSRN:

Ezra Rosser (Contact Author)

American University - Washington College of Law ( email )

4300 Nebraska Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20016
United States


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