Godfrey, Leibsle, Blackbourn & Howarth, S.C.
Godfrey, Leibsle, Blackbourn & Howarth, S.C.

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Elkhorn, WI

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Will one-size-fits-all zoning help property developers?

Anyone who has built a home or opened a business understands the intricate issues of zoning. Every municipality has its priorities in zoning and can serve as a challenge to developers wishing to expand. A newly proposed law may make building housing much less challenging through “one-size-fits-all zoning.”

One-size-fits-all zoning explained

One size fits all zoning is a concept that would require all municipalities to conform to zoning measures in a specific way. In this case, towns and cities of Wisconsin would face requirements to approve certain levels of residential housing in at least one district. Critics of this bill argue that by including these mandates, the state seeks to control population density.

What effect would population density have on a town?

Analysts believe a high residence-per-acre density may attract more workers. However, “high density” is up for debate as the municipalities most opposed to this are rural, spread-out towns, which see the stipulation of “16 units per acre” as a vast increase in population density.

In a town with a rural aesthetic, where there is room to grow and neighbors are far off, this would add a suburban-style density level. However, such zoning would appear to be a good thing for businesses in need of workers.

What does this mean for developers?

This change could signal a vast shift for developers to allow much greater flexibility in finding places to build. However, as the law has not yet passed and is hotly debated in certain corners, any new development may face significant local challenges.

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