ZONED IN - Zoning Education Initiative

Housing advocates and practitioners in Virginia agree that in order to create affordable, livable, and equitable communities, we need to address zoning barriers first. ZONED IN is HousingForward Virginia’s initiative to unpack the consequences of strict local land use regulations and build support for lasting solutions. We’re piloting this initiative with a regional focus on Hampton Roads in 2023.

Zoning presents us with three big challenges.

  • Most people don’t understand what zoning is, how it functions in local government, and why it matters to them.
  • Most people don’t understand how zoning impacts housing affordability, racial equity, economic opportunity, and other measures of success.
  • Most people don’t know what to do about zoning to help better their communities.

ZONED IN responds to these challenges.

ZONED IN aims to provide accessible information to help people understand what zoning is and how it affects housing across the Commonwealth. The ZONED IN initiative is made up of several parts:

  • ZONED OUT was our initial launch into exploring zoning. It was a pre-conference session at the 2022 Virginia Governor’s Housing Conference.
  • Our online Zoning 101 Toolkit will provide a baseline understanding of zoning and how it functions in Virginia.
  • Our Zoning Reform Tracker is a frequently updated tool to understand what localities in Virginia are doing about zoning, as well as other states across the nation.
  • The Virginia Zoning Atlas is a tool to help visualize the impact of zoning on housing development. It standardizes zoning ordinances to allow for cross-jurisdictional comparisons and is the starting point for deeper zoning analysis.
  • Our Regional Approach will tackle zoning and housing affordability across municipal borders to better match the regional dynamics of the housing market.

Donate to the Virginia Zoning Atlas

You can directly support the work of the Virginia Zoning Atlas by donating to HousingForward Virginia. Please include a note indicating that your donation is for the Virginia Zoning Atlas.

A regional approach.

Because housing markets are regional, we believe that examining zoning regionally will be more effective at getting to the issues that matter most to housing affordability. We believe this is best accomplished by having a Regional Work Group of invested leaders who understand that zoning matters to their work. These work group members are our local ZONED IN ambassadors. They will inform us on how best to communicate zoning’s impact to their clients, members, colleagues, and neighbors, as well as determine how to make zoning work better for their communities.

  • Regional-focused webinars will invite local zoning officials and practitioners to answer basic questions about zoning and how localities are currently thinking about and using zoning.
  • Regional impact workshops will take us across the state to explore how local zoning is affecting housing opportunities and the most pressing issues that a region is facing. 
  • Regional solutions workshops will allow for local stakeholders to determine how they want us to help make zoning work better in their communities. Do they need help building effective messaging strategies? Do they need help developing policy proposals? Do they need help expanding coalition building efforts?

Our first regional focus will be on Hampton Roads, and will launch in the second half of 2023.

Become a sponsor for ZONED IN Hampton Roads

Click the button for more details. If you’re interested in sponsoring this initiative for a different region in the future, or have other questions, fill out the contact form below.

Contact Us

Questions about ZONED IN? Interested in sponsoring the initiative? Want to volunteer for the Virginia Zoning Atlas? Let us know.