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Essential Smart Growth Fixes for Urban and Suburban Zoning Codes


The USEPA's Smart Growth Program, has put together this document to help those communities that may not wish to revise or replace their entire system of codes and ordinances, but nevertheless are looking for “essential fixes” that will help them get the smarter, more environmentally responsible, and sustainable communities they want. To find the changes that can be most helpful, the USEPA convened a panel of national smart growth code experts to identify what topics in local zoning codes are essential to creating the building blocks of smart growth. This document presents the initial work of that panel. It is an evolving document, one that will be regularly revised, added to, and updated. It is intended to spark a larger conversation about the tools and information local governments need to revise their land development regulations. The purpose of this document is to identify the most common code and ordinance barriers communities face and to suggest actions communities could take to improve their land development regulations.

Primary Toolkit:

Healthy Community Design Toolkit

Keyword Area:

Community Design, Land Use, Planning, Policies, Zoning


Institutional Author:

US Environmental Protection Agency





The NACCHO Toolbox is a repository of available resources to help local public health practitioners. Tools are produced by local, state, and federal agencies, as well as academic institutions and other stakeholders. The contents of this Toolbox are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily reflect any official recommendations of NACCHO. NACCHO makes no express or implied warranty with respect to the contents and disclaims liability for any damages arising from or connected to the use of the material in this Toolbox.