Relationship between growth patterns and planning practices: a case study of the city of Roanoke
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Land use pattern and plans influence future urban development. More desired urban forms can be created through land use decisions and policing power. Unfortunately, land use data is rarely analyzed, and researchers rely on a few historical, morphological studies for any information on land use change.
Historical, morphological studies show that cities, and sections of cities, face different developmental problems at various points In time; for example, out-migration, poor quality housing, competition among employment sectors and lack of undeveloped land. How these problems are addressed depends on the current state of planning. Well-organized and up-dated plans address current and future growth, and foster or hinder specific kinds of growth.
In Roanoke, Virginia, a bounded city with limited vacant land, redevelopment has become an essential element of growth. A case study of Roanoke examined the transformation of Roanoke's zoning ordinance from 1966 to 1987 when Roanoke was emerging from development into redevelopment.
Publications by Roanoke City Government, rezoning request notices for the city from 1978 to 1991 and rezoning request files from 1982 to 1991 and publications on five neighborhoods were used to examine the (1) differences between the 1966 and 1987 zoning ordinances, (2) application of the 1966 zoning ordinance, (3) application of the 1987 zoning ordinance, and (4) application of conditional zoning.
The data showed that zoning affected the land use pattern by fostering or hindering specific land use categories. The 1966 ordinance's large minimum lot sizes hindered the application of residential zoning categories by stopping small scale, inner city developments. The 1966 ordinance fostered the expansion of commercial and industrial zoning categories through an absence of lot size requirements.
The 1987 zoning ordinance decreased the minimum lot size in several residential categories and added lot width, area and yardage requirements to commercial and industrial zoning categories. This ordinance preserved old. inner city structures through techniques, including historic districts. By addressing different developmental stages within the city, the ordinance encouraged infill development in inner city areas and planned unit developments in peripheral locations.
Conditional zoning influenced the land use pattern by limiting changes. Land usage limitations give planners more control over land use changes that occur outside of the traditional rezoning process. Time limitations result in an automatic reversion of zoning if construction does not begin within the specified time. The zoning decision-makers used discretion in implementing zoning. Such decisions are important to planning and influence the types of land use changes approved.
- Masters Theses