A Brief History of Zoning laws in America and Why We Need a More Flexible Approach (by Salim Furth written on ecomincs21.org) In an executive order signed by President Donald Trump on June 25th Trump instructed his administration to find ways to remove regulations that are barriers to affordable housing. “these regulatory barriers” the president said which include “rent control” cumbersome building and rehab codes, energy and water efficiency mandates and so on increase the costs associated with development and “are a leading factor in the growth of housing prices” the president claimed. Yet much as he would like to change zoning laws washington actually has very little to do with it as they only have the power to “tweak some federal regulations” as the power to create and abolish said zoning laws (and sometimes building codes) lies within the individual states legislative.
“from the beginning U.S. zoning has embodied a contradiction: its stated legal purpose is that cities must be rationally planned to avoid ugly spillovers” and so most states require regular comprehensive plans as a precondition to zoning which translates into having cities and suburbs that are effectively unplanned because the zoning’s enactment almost always enshrines whatever land use happens to be in that specific location originally.
“in the current housing market zoning is to blame for high housing costs in coastal cities (such as New York)” However the original system designed by Herbert Hoover in the early twentieth century has proven to not be flexible enough which we can partially shift the blame onto. Now in theory the price of real estate has to do with the location of said building or house, if it is in a desirable location then the price of it will go up and the same is true for the opposite. their really is not a solution to battle against the demand of wanting to live in a certain area which i believe the only way to combat that is by making another new area enticing but then prices in this new area will raise accordingly as more people move in. So in conclusion zoning laws in my opinion don’t play as big of a role as we think.