Zoning Destroys Neighborhood Business

US zoning regulations typically prohibit businesses like these in residential areas
US zoning regulations typically prohibit businesses like these in residential areas

Travel the world and you’ll see vibrant, beautiful, old world neighborhoods where small local businesses are integrated with residential homes. I call these ‘mixed use areas’. This is typically the way towns were set up for many years. In the US and some other western countries you see a stark separation between residential and business areas. This is because zoning regulations usually prohibit mom and pop businesses or any businesses at all in residential areas.

Most of us reading this blog have become so accustomed to this that often times we think nothing of it. One downside however is now we are forced to drive for miles to get to a restaurant or a shop. But what if the restaurants, flower shop, fruit market, shoe repair shop, etc. were within walking distance? That’s what most people prefer. That’s what is most common worldwide. Are US zoning regulations serving we the people or are they corralling businesses into high priced real estate areas where big businesses are more competitive?

Image source: Travelers Point

3 thoughts on “Zoning Destroys Neighborhood Business”

  1. It is also overheads too. In the UK we have suffered massive increases in property taxes and rents. That means for every ten oranges last year that the store ( above ) sells, it has to sell twelve this year just to stand still. The motor vehicle too has been a double-edged sword, giving citizens the ability to drive daily to big malls, or to order online for home delivery. Since we don’t have a way of going back in time, we need some sensible planning for residential areas – there have been some good TED talks about that – maybe we need more ?


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