This link is to an excellent article from the Deseret News about a zoning issue in Utah. http://deseretnews.com/dn/print/1,14...155327,00.html
The speaker of the house in Utah is considering introducion legislation to require more justification for zoning decisions. An excerpt from the article:
Appearantly he (Curtis) was denied for a proposed rezoning and believes "the city had no legitimate reason not to grant the request." And in the absence of such, the rezoning request should be approved.Under the Curtis-Harper notion, cities would have to give much more justification for zoning decisions. If a city couldn't give specific reasons why a property owner's development was "detrimental to the health, safety or welfare of the community," it shouldn't be banned, they say.
Later in the article, planning consultant Charles Buki has an interesting comment about the zoning process:
Topics of discussion:Buki, who is Virginia-based, favors good planning processes but concedes zoning is "probably not the most perfect tool in the 21st century. . . . The zoning process is a poor forum to hash out the debate" between developers looking at short-term profits and city officials who want long-term stability.
- Would an increased standard, a "burden of proof", help cities have better plans and better zoning? (Raising the bar causes better performance) Or discourage them from trying for fear of losing in court? (Raising the bar causes fear of failure)
- Is the rezoning process (for a specific development, not city or area wide) a poor forum for debate and decisionmaking? If so, what should professional planners (public and private) do about it?