Land Use and Zoning

Elaborate land use regulations, zoning schemes and outdated policies create a challenging environment for the residential construction industry. In addition, many of these regulations negatively affect housing affordability. NAHB’s State and Local Fund (SLIF) provides financial assistance to HBAs involved in advocacy efforts related to land use such as inclusionary zoning and density.

No on A, Planning Today for San Diego's Future

Building Industry Association of San Diego County  

Safeguard Our San Diego Countryside Ballot Measure A proposal would require a public vote if an applicant wants to increase their density by five or more units. While the measure would only apply to unincorporated areas, all 18 cities would vote. In addition, it would prohibit density transfers from high residential yield to low yield parcels and prohibit new specific plan formations. The BIA conducted focus groups and polling to help create a targeted “NO” vote message. In addition, the BIA requested SLIF funds to help produce economic reports and ramp up public relations efforts.

Estimated project cost: $2.5 million

Funding request: $20,000

Result: defeated; 50.97% voted “NO.” 

Powell, Ohio Ballot Issue

Ohio Home Builders Association and Building Industry Association of Central Ohio (Columbus, Ohio) 

A small group of citizens in Powell, Ohio, submitted a petition to their City Council opposing a mixed-use development project inclusive of 64 apartment units. The petition would amend the city charter to create a commission of home owners association (HOA) presidents who would be given authority to draft a plan to limit single-family housing. The city council rejected the petition and the group appealed to the Ohio Supreme Court. The Supreme Court initially rejected the appeal and then reconsidered, ruling that the amendment should be placed on the ballot and voted on during the next election. According to the HBAs the measure would stop growth and economic development, if passed. In response, the HBAs applied for SLIF funding to launch a voter education campaign opposing the measure.

Estimated project cost: $20,000  

Funding request: $10,000 

Results: Passed with 2,336 votes.

Colorado Limited Growth Initiative

Colorado Association of Home Builders  

A Colorado ballot proposal would limit building permits approved in ten “front range” counties to just 1% of the housing stock per year. The counties are the most populated in the state. The HBA petitioned with Title Board, but the board dismissed their motion. In response, the HBA appealed to the Colorado Supreme Court. The home builders hoped the appeal time could deter the proponents from gathering enough signatures since they can only start collecting them once the court has ruled. Furthermore, time will make it more expensive for them. If the proposal were on the ballot, it would harm the housing supply and increase housing costs.

Estimated project cost: $12 million-$16 million  

Funding request: $20,000 

Results: Not qualified for the ballot.   

Three-phased Analysis of the Residential Construction Industry’s Impact on the Economy; Land Availability Analysis; Water Consumption Usage of New Residential Construction

Southern Nevada Home Builders Association (SNHBA) (Las Vegas)

Nevada is majority-owned by the federal government. Due to the artificial lack of land, water scarcity, and staffing shortages at the Bureau of Land Management office, record-high land prices have driven housing affordability concerns. As a result, with SLIF support, the HBA funded a study on the impact of the residential construction industry, including land availability, water usage and the outcome of halting residential construction.

Estimated Project Cost: $44,500

Funding Request: $20,000

Protecting Homeownership Opportunities

Northshore Home Builders Association (Lacombe, La.)  

The HBA fought against a proposed moratorium that would mandate a density of one unit per acre. The moratorium would restrict planned unit development (PUD) and traditional neighborhood development (TND), which offer affordable housing. To help educate anti-growth groups and city council members, the HBA planned to hire a public relations consultant, expand their grassroots efforts and update an existing economic impact study. 

Estimated project cost: $60,000  

Funding request: $20,000 

Standardization of Residential Construction Permitting

Home Builders & Remodelers Association of Cape Cod (Mass.) 

Home Builders & Remodelers Association of Cape Cod (HB&RACC) members’ building permits wait time is long. Cape Cod has 15 towns and although the city is located in one county, each town has a different system of permit filing, approval process, issuance and schedule. HB&RACC is working on an action plan that will include meeting with town managers and IT Staff, proposing an e-permitting process and working with a local community college to prepare an analysis of the long-term costs.

Estimated project cost: $100,000

Funding request: $20,000 

Zoning and Regulatory Reform for Housing for Working Families

Home Builders Association of Central Arizona (HBACA) (Phoenix)

Home builders in Central Arizona are fighting against “not in my backyard “(NIMBY) groups and elected officials who are unwilling to reform existing housing policies due to anti-growth sentiment from constituents. HBACA launched a campaign to promote development and housing affordability. With SLIF support, the campaign included policy recommendations for zoning, redevelopment, public-private partnerships and support for affordable housing legislation.

Estimated project cost: $50,000 

Funding request: $20,000 

Modernization of Zoning & Platting Laws  

Oklahoma Home Builders Association

The HBA applied for SLIF funds to hire an external lobbyist and create informational materials to support their legislative push to update the state’s zoning and platting laws. 

Estimated project cost: $65,000 

Funding requested: $20,000 

San Diego Inclusionary Housing Regulations Update

Building Industry Association of San Diego (BIASD)

BIASD applied for SLIF funding to conduct polling, studies and legal analysis to counter the San Diego city council’s efforts to increase the city’s inclusionary zoning regulations that require units to be set aside for households earning below a certain area medium income (AMI) threshold. The city council plans to rewrite the mandates without conducting an economic analysis. The BIASD is gathering data, preparing a public outreach campaign and forming a coalition to oppose the legislation.

Estimated project cost: $175,000

Funding request: $15,000

Inclusionary Zoning Public Relations Campaign

Home Builders Association of Southwest Colorado (HBASC) (Durango, Colo.)

HBASC executed a robo-call-based education campaign to explain the ineffectiveness of proposed inclusionary zoning ordinances, which would significantly raise in-lieu fees. In addition, the HBA applied for SLIF funding to run local newspaper ads and radio spots that will support their existing media strategy.

Estimated project cost: $16,050

Funding request: $7,200

Loudon County Tennessee Moratorium on Planned Unit Development (PUD)

Home Builders of Greater Knoxville (Tenn.)

The Loudon County Commission placed a moratorium on Planned Unit Development (PUD) which would jeopardize future home developments in the county. HBAGK hired a campaign consultant to highlight the issue in the upcoming Loudon County elections. The goal is to inform voters in key districts to flip the seats of current commissioners opposed to PUDs and support incumbent commissioners who support PUDs. A consultant will create a direct mail and text messaging campaign targeted to voters in critical voting districts. HBAGK is also considering newspaper ads, billboards and social media ads.

Estimated project cost: $35,000-$40,000  

Funding request: $20,000 

Chicago Affordable Requirements Ordinance Advocacy Campaign

Home Builders Association of Greater Chicago (HBAGC)

HBAGC applied for SLIF funding to create a social media-driven education campaign to repeal or modify Chicago’s Affordable Requirements Ordinance (ARO). The HBA seeks to coordinate with coalition groups and boost the industry’s voice in the conversation about the ARO, as in-lieu fees had risen drastically in prior years.

Estimated project cost: $125,000

Funding request: $20,000

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