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Curious about the economics of zoning?

The financial impacts of zoning are rarely discussed. The focus is on the code, the way it is designed by the consultants who favor "form" to "Euclidean." Often the locally appointed or elected officials know very little about real estate and yet oversea their city's property - the parcels the actually own and those they have jursidiction over. 

Zoning applies is assigned by the city or county - whichever has jurisdiction - and associates a set of regulations. No two land-use or zoning ordinances are the same.

Each contain the regulations specifying all kinds of pertinent details. The details set the tone for friendliness or not towards development and business.

When you see a building or house get torn down to make room for something new, that is the invisible force of zoning at work. The zoning sets the framework for how that structure can look and be used. A zoning code with lots of details about the look and use translates into hiring experts to help, often costing money and taking time.

Urban is often more costly with greater uncertaintly than suburbs although that is changing based on our work with zoning data. People are saying "yes" to planned communities.

Property Risk

Zoning and risk are the other side of the opportunity coin. With risk comes reward but knowing what risks to avoid and which are worth the effort is the reason we created logic around zoning risk.


Population increases are at the forefront for why zoning is changing in major US cities. Why not create a model to rank best potential sites for multifamily and convert this to population? 

Highest and Best Use

While knowing where to build is the principle reason some developers are more successful than others, the notion of when to develop or sell based on potential competition is worth reviewing.