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Zoning in on Minimum Lot Sizes

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  • Steven P. Lanza

Abstract

Communities in Connecticut and around the nation have long used zoning controls, such as minimum lot sizes, to regulate the pace, mix and location of development. Advocates argue that by promoting the rational, orderly development of real property zoning serves as an important tool in a region’s development toolbox, improving area amenities, reconciling conflicts over competing uses, and boosting home values. Critics counter that such regulations impede the operation of free markets, distort prices and limit the availability of affordable housing. Empirical analysis can help sort through these competing claims and shed light not only on the effects of zoning controls, but also on the possible motives behind them. Evidence from Connecticut suggests that towns zone largely to ease the fiscal burden of development. The consequence, however, seems to be to lower single family home prices and restrict the supply of multi-family units.

Suggested Citation

  • Steven P. Lanza, 2010. "Zoning in on Minimum Lot Sizes," The Connecticut Economy, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics, issue Spring.
  • Handle: RePEc:uct:ctecon:10-spr-01
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    File URL: http://cteconomy.uconn.edu/articles/SL_S2010.pdf
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    JEL classification:

    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search

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