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Thread: Books on zoning

  1. #1
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    Books on Zoning

    I about to graduate with an undergrad degree but my school doesn't offer any good classes on zoning. I want to read up on zoning so that I can be better prepared for a potential entry-level planner job. Can anyone suggest some good books on zoning for profressionals that may give me a good understanding of it?

  2. #2
    Follow this link. It's a poll we did in our forum.
    http://www.cyburbia.org/forums/showthread.php?t=15150
    Universe is not wide enough to be planned.

  3. #3
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    My first two suggestions would be Job of the Practicing Planner and The Small Town Planning Handbook since it sounds like you are wanting to find a book that deals a little more with the nitty-gritty of a planning department, like writing reports and advising the public on zoning matters. They're not 100% accurate to the real world, but are a good start.

    If you're looking for something slightly more like an academic text (though it's still good for applied planning), I'd pick up a copy of Planning in the USA by Barry Cullingworth. I particularly like this book as it seems to cover most of the bases pretty well. Part II of that book is devoted entirely to land use regulation.

    After reading a couple of those, I would pick up a good zoning ordinance somewhere and read it cover-to-cover so you can see how the stuff you read in a book translates to policy. I'm sure a few of us on here will gladly offer suggestions when you reach that point.

    In addition, state APA conferences usually have a series of sessions designed for Planning Commissioners/new planners. If you have one of these conferences coming up, that would be a smart move. Many state APAs also have periodic training classes for planning commissioners.

    And you'll here it preached over-and-over again on this site: INTERNSHIPS ARE YOUR FRIEND!

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  4. #4
         
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    Books

    Quote Originally posted by mikhail_sanchez
    I about to graduate with an undergrad degree but my school doesn't offer any good classes on zoning. I want to read up on zoning so that I can be better prepared for a potential entry-level planner job. Can anyone suggest some good books on zoning for profressionals that may give me a good understanding of it?
    Two books I've referred to are:
    The Citizen's Guide to Zoning by Herbert H, Smith, copyright 1983. Though this may be a bit old the information in it is still relevant.
    and
    The Zoning Board Manual, by Frederick Bair, copyright 1984. Again a bit old but relevant.
    Both books I distribute to new Zoning Board of Appeals members.
    Of course with the hope they read them.
    We try.
    Good luuc.

  5. #5
    BWharrie's avatar
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    I would like to write a book titled "Zoning, how to make it difficult for everybody" Unfortunately all the zoning ordinances/environmental plans I've read have got it totally wrong for the user. They are written by those trying to be administratively efficient without any customer service thinking.
    Consider a typical development proposal. Let's just say a new garage ina heritage conservation area. Where do you find it in the planning rules? Well first you look at the zone then at the heritage overlay and then try to work out if garage is permitted in either through what rule - exempt development, complying development, or development application. Then what if the development is close to a railway line, creek, part of a seniors living complex etc.
    So why don't we turn it around? Yea, still have the zones and overlays with objectives, parameters, preferences and reasonings, but why not start with a list of types of developments and land uses then refer to the zone, overlays and then other special considerations. Then the customer or inexperienced Council staff can find the first section of the answer more efficiently.
    Part of our development standards are on http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/n...g/alep2000299/

  6. #6

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    Richard Babcock's The Zoning Game is still relevant after all these years. Beyond that it is hard to learn much about zoning from books.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    The Zoning Game

    I agree concerning Babcock's The Zoning Game. It is an interesting read. I find myself picking it up every so often when I need a proper dose of cynicism.
    "I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany"

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