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Thread: City-initiated rezoning (was: My struggle...)

  1. #1
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    City-initiated rezoning (was: My struggle...)

    There's been a recent movement afoot in my community to have a direct relationship between what a parcel is zoned, how it is currently being used, and what it is designated on the City's future land use map. The discussion is moving towards doing city initiated rezonings to match actual use along with changes to the master plan/future land use plan as well. I've argued that this is not necessary and only in an extreme circumstance should we initiate a rezoning against the will of the property owner. I've explained that one is a policy document, and one is an implementation document and only in the case of totally masterplanned community does this arrangement occur...and it usually doesn't stay that way for very long. City's that are dynamic and constantly evolving are always going to have areas that don't seem to make sense but to roll in and tidy things up so the maps look pretty is troubling to me. I don't like city initiated rezonings. Any advice out there? I'm tapped out.

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  2. #2
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    I think your position is right. The policy document needs to be just that...policy and should be subject to amendment more easily than the actual zoning map.

    We also stay away from initiating rezonings for the same reasons you cited. But we did do a couple recently - one due to overwhelming compliants regarding teardowns and another because it became a rather critical catalyst property within one of our TIF districts.

    Good luck.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    The ends can justify the means.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian TOFB's avatar
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    Only if they are to make nonconforming uses conforming. Still, this action confuses people and they anticipate the worst from the Evil City. To do so and make uses nonconforming for the sake of the plan is not worth the blood sweat and tears, IMO.

  4. #4
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    Our city did a city-wide rezoning about two years ago following adoption of a new land development code. Lots of emphasis on eliminating nonconformities and when possible, bringing the zoning closer to compliance with the future land use map. Several of them involved converting zoning classifications to the new vernacular. With a total of probably 8,000 properties notified, only 13 protested.

    Your city-initiated rezoning appears purely policy-based. Are there any other reasons beyond just trying to make everything match-up better? Are they going to create non-conformities through this process?

    The public process will dictate success. We only had 13 protests because of an extensive public involvement process. When we saw that a change was significant, we would contact the property owner ahead of time and explain everything. We did workshops all over the city in different neighborhoods and areas to make the process more accessible. Tons of mailouts written in very conversational, elementary language to help people understand what was going on.


    EDIT: RonS, you might send me a private message with your specific location. I work in Texas.

    "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)

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Streck's avatar
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    I can see some problems with rezoning against the land owner's will, and possibly a law suit.

    I think the place to show the city's desire is to show the desireable use in the Land Use Plan. This does not change zoning, and can "clean up" city maps. It would also declare what the city judges is the best use of the land. This would serve to encourage the present owner and future buyers as to whether present city planning intent would support or oppose certain rezoning classifications.

    It would be a great stabilizing element and avoid a fight.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Plan 9's avatar
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    It is called consistency re-zoning. I think it is a good idea to go through and rezone all the parcels, otherwise you have a useless policy document that is never implemented, or implemented so slowly and piecemeal as to be completely ineffective.

    Yes, it is always a challenge, but then again, those battles should have already been fought during the adoption of the policy document...unless of course everyone knows/feels that the community would never actually implement it
    "Future events such as these will affect you in the future."

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