Zoned for Injustice: Moving Beyond Zoning and Market-Based Land Preservation to Address Rural Poverty
45 Pages Posted: 11 May 2014 Last revised: 4 May 2016
Date Written: May 9, 2014
The problem of rural poverty has endured even as many states, particularly Maryland, make significant strides toward preserving rural land. The reason for the disparate levels of success in the two spheres lies in conflicting incentives between preserving rural environments and encouraging development in rural areas. Market-based conservation tools, such as easements, promised to be an improvement over traditional zoning and direct government regulation. While these tools have been successful, they are not entirely divorced from single-use zoning and suffer from single-use zoning’s tendency to isolate and discourage multiple uses of land. This framework is ill-suited to rural areas, where low population densities and vast distances exacerbate rural poverty. A better approach, which Maryland, as a leader in land preservation, could champion, is to allow micro-mixed use on rural areas, provided regulations exist to minimize environmental impact.
Keywords: Zoning, Land Use, Conservation Easements, Agriculture, Agricultural Easements, Rural Poverty, Environmental Justice, Maryland, Smart Growth, New Urbanism
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation