Wednesday, June 19, 2019

But Houston!

Whenever the subject comes up generally somebody comes along and says "but Houston has no zoning, and..." Well, sort of, but not really. Houston has a set of land use regulations that are pretty much identical to everywhere else. Not that all places (or neighborhoods in those places) are identical, but identical in the sense that they tend to mandate all the same things which limit development (again, not everywhere) to single family homes, and certainly lead to lower residential density (and the automobile-centric neighborhoods that result). Zoning is often shorthand for zoningandlanduse so in the case of Houston "no zoning" means "no laws telling you that you can't put a doctor's office in this spot." But they'll still tell you how much off street parking you need to have for your doctor's office.

So they have same land use laws as everywhere else - large lot zoning, setback requirements, minimum parking etc. And they even have many of the same zoning features in that while the guvmint doesn't tell you that you can't operate most businesses out of your home, your HOA does. Potato, Potahto.