Dr. Ki Eun Kang, Institute for Science, Technology and Public Policy (ISTPP) Postdoctoral Research Associate, has recently published a co-authored paper with Dr. George Homsy, Director of Environmental Studies; Associate Professor at Binghamton University, State University of New York, in the Journal of American Planning Association (JAPA). In their article, “Zoning Incentives: Exploring a Market-Based Land Use Planning Tool,” they examine: a) the adoption rate of incentive zoning across the United States; b) the bonuses offered to developers and the amenities sought by governments; c) whether municipalities conduct a cost-benefit analysis between bonuses and amenities; and d) the relationship between local autonomy, growth, public participation, and incentive zoning.
Based on their survey and interview data from local officials, they find that forty-one percent of surveyed communities reported having incentive zoning. The most common bonus offered to developers was density. The most common amenities sought by municipalities were mixed-use development, open space conservation, walkability, affordable housing, and public parks. Most communities did not conduct a cost-benefit analysis while developing or applying incentive zoning, which they found was correlated to lower utilization. Some communities used incentive zoning to entice developers to provide benefits (e.g., affordable housing or green buildings) that state legislation prohibited them from requiring.
Homsy, George C. and Ki Eun Kang. 2022. “Zoning Incentives: Exploring a Market-Based Land Use Planning Tool.” Journal of American Planning Association. (Early view available online). DOI: 10.1080/01944363.2022.2050935