econ 135 fall08 lecture6

econ 135 fall08 lecture6 - Urban Economics Lecture 6 Zoning...

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1 Urban Economics Lecture 6 Zoning and Land Use Controls We found that when migration to the city is restricted, existing urban residents are better off if in their role as renters (homeowners gain from the increase in housing values when migration is unrestricted). Governments have the power to regulate land use. This is called zoning. Many levels of government get involved in regulating land use. How is land use regulated? o Zoning: cities adopt zoning plans that specify what type of land use is permitted in each zone. Separate zones for industry, retailing, offices, apartments, single-family houses with half acre lots, single family houses with quarter acre lots, one-eighth acre lots, etc. Each type of land use is permitted only in its assigned zone.
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2 Building codes: can’t build or renovate without a building permit. Construction must conform to building codes that specify allowed materials and standards (one elec outlet every 12 feet, 2x4” studs in walls, etc). In California, earthquake standards and fire standards make building codes much more stringent and construction much more expensive. Examples: some interior walls must be made of plywood instead of plasterboard, decks in some areas must have steel supports rather than wood, … ) In San Diego, there are additional restrictions on building when the lot has a slope > 20 degrees. Performance standards: La Jolla requires one parking space for each bedroom when new houses are built. (Assumes all bedrooms have kids and all kids have cars!) Environmental impact: The Federal government and the state of California restrict building near the coast and on wetlands. These rules restrict the amount of construction.
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3 Cities may restrict development by refusing connections to the city water system or limiting the number of building permits or zoning lots of land for single family houses on large lots but no land for apts, etc. Development fees: requirements that developers pay the local government a fee to cover the costs of roads, bridges, parks, schools that the development requires. All these regulations make housing more expensive…
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4 What are the legal and economic justifications for zoning/land use controls? Nuisances: this is the legal term for a land use that has an adverse impact on neighboring land uses. The economic term is a negative externality . Examples of nuisances: Stores generate traffic congestion. barking dog disturbs neighbor. nearby dry cleaner emits harmful odors/air pollution. high rise apts block the sun from low rise buildings nearby. Cattle feeding operation near a residential neighborhood creates a mountain of s--- and is a threat to public health of nearby residents. The legal justification for zoning is to protect public health and safety by
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This note was uploaded on 06/30/2009 for the course ECON 135 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '08 term at UCSD.

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econ 135 fall08 lecture6 - Urban Economics Lecture 6 Zoning...

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