strongest opposition to an IZ policy comes from private developers, the
real estate community and public officials opposed to affordable housing.
Some of the arguments made against inclusionary zoning include:
- IZ Dampens Private Development. David Paul Rosen and Associates'
recent, long-term study
of the impact of California inclusionary housing programs on market rate
housing production found that not a single program had a negative
effect on housing production. In fact, most jurisdictions
with inclusionary programs saw an increase in housing production
(sometimes dramatically). The longitudinal analysis examined data on annual
housing starts over a twenty-year period (1981-2000) for 28 cities with
inclusionary housing programs in Orange, San Diego, San Francisco, Los
Angeles, and Sacramento counties, as well as for the state in general.
The effect of inclusionary programs was compared to the effects of other
variables, namely changes in the prime rate, the 30-year mortgage rate,
the unemployment rate, the area median home prices, and the 1986 Tax Reform
- IZ Commits an Illegal "Taking". Some argue that inclusionary
zoning is a form of "taking" since the requirements to construct affordable
units diminish profits. The Home Builders Association of Northern California
sued the city of Napa on these grounds in September of 1999. The court
found in favor of the city, stating that the incentives offered by the
inclusionary zoning ordinance (as well as the possibility of a waiver
in cases of extreme hardship) provided enough benefits and options to
developers that the ordinance could not be considered a taking. The Home
Builders Association did not appeal the case. The lesson is that various
forms of compensation granted to developers offset the costs associated
with producing affordable units. See: Home
Builders Association of Northern California v. City of Napa
- IZ Promotes Over-Development and Congestion. Another
contention is that density bonuses produce over-development and congestion.
There is no evidence that inclusionary zoning has produced such negative
effects. An effective counter-argument is that IZ policies promote reasonable
density in development, leading to less sprawl and the preservation of
- Private Developers Are Not Responsible for Producing Affordable
Housing. Opponents argue that the production of affordable housing
is the responsibility of the public sector, and that inclusionary zoning
unfairly shifts this responsibility to the private sector. Important counter-arguments
include that developers benefit from public investments in infrastructure,
and they receive compensation for developing affordable units.