Zoning Experts?
From: Sharon Villines (sharonsharonvillines.com)
Date: Tue, 30 Mar 2021 10:57:21 -0700 (PDT)
Is there anyone out there who is up to date on efforts to change zoning laws?

There are a million low-cost housing solutions that would enable almost anyone 
with a steady job to own their own home. All well constructed and long lasting.

The problem is zoning restrictions. And zoning again. And more zoning. While an 
increasing number of jurisdictions are allowing “accessory dwelling units” in 
the backyards or basements or over the garage of single household houses, this 
is not helpful for cohousing communities. Unless you could find in the suburbs 
a a block of houses all with large back  yards so a tiny house community could 
be slipped in between them.

I’ve seen such places with backyards 30-40 ft deep. 6-8 houses facing the 
street on each side of the block. All the backyards with identical chain link 
fences, 4’ high. They are also not so fancy that the homeowners would be 
unilaterally opposed to sharing land and reducing expenses. (I was in one of 
these yards at a cook-out on a Sunday afternoon when the siren went off at the 
volunteer fire station. People started running from one end towards the fire 
station, leaping over the fences. A hurdles race. ) 

I saw similar housing on the Eastern Shore in Maryland that was built behind 
the “big houses.” The large houses faced each other across one street. The 
small houses were behind them facing each other on a street in between. 
Alternating streets with houses in two sizes. These were probably originally 

But this kind of thing has been proposed for zoning conflicts — it’s called 
micro zoning. Instead of zoning a whole large area, allow zoning by blocks. 
This would also allow more variation in the suburbs so more walkable 
communities could built with corner stores.

I could really use help with zoning discussions. How do people change zoning?

Sharon Villines
affordablecohousing [at] groups.io
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