Sunday, June 27, 2010
For starters (and full disclosure), I do a great deal of writing, research, and consulting on the SmartCode and transect-based zoning. That said, facts are facts so I don't mind reporting that the SmartCode recently withstood an interesting legal challenge.
What makes it interesting is that some people I've heard comment of the SmartCode have made claims that the SmartCode allows unfettered density. The gist is that the code is pro-density.
That's actually not the case at all. Instead, the SmartCode is only pro-density in the more urban settings where greater density is appropriate to the scale of development.
Which leads to this recent lawsuit in Gulfport, Mississippi which involved a landowner trying to get more density than the SmartCode allowed--just the opposite of the aforementioned assumptions.
Three Gulfport residents prevailed in a zoning dispute Friday, when Circuit Judge Lisa Dodson ruled against a high-density development in their single-family neighborhood. Dodson said the information presented to the city did not support the City Council’s decision in August to rezone the property for up to 60 units on 4.3 acres.
Under SmartCode regulations West Gulfport residents helped develop, only five units per acre were allowed before the zoning change.
--Chad Emerson, Faulkner U.