Healthy Zoning Regulations

Zoning regulations are a powerful land use tool for promoting healthy eating and active living. The Healthy Eating Active Living Cities Campaign recommends the following zoning strategies to improve city residents’ health.

Promote compact, mixed-use and transit-oriented development

Establishing a minimum- rather than a maximum- density in mixed-use zones that include residential, commercial, and office uses assures there are enough people and development to support a lively, interactive destination.

Examples of Local Polices

City of McMinnville Growth Management and Urbanization Plan. 2006.
City of Wilsonville Transit-Oriented Development Policy in the Comprehensive Plan. Updated 2013.
Orenco Station in Hillsboro.

Resources

Local Government Commission (LGC) has many useful tools for those interested in high density, mixed-use development, including Smart Growth Zoning Codes: A Resources Guide.

Model Local Ordinance on Complete Streets. The National Policy And Legal Analysis Network. The purpose of this model ordinance to assist localities in making streets safe, comfortable, and convenient for everyone.

The National Complete Streets Coalition website delineates 10 elements for a complete streets policy.

Street Design Guidelines for Healthy Neighborhoods: Walkable Communities. These guidelines identify ways to design new neighborhoods that will be more interactive, walkable, enjoyable, and livable.

Increase walking and biking through pedestrian- and bike- friendly street design standards

Cities can establish design guidelines and standards for pedestrian corridors and roadways that support walking and biking. The complete streets approach can be included in the comprehensive plan update, the transportation plan update, the zoning code, as well as in redevelopment plans and financing tools.

Examples of Local Policies

Under development. Please contact Campaign staff for more information.

Resources

Model Local Ordinance on Complete Streets. The National Policy And Legal Analysis Network. The purpose of this model ordinance to assist localities in making streets safe, comfortable, and convenient for everyone.

The National Complete Streets Coalition website delineates 10 elements for a complete streets policy.

Street Design Guidelines for Healthy Neighborhoods: Walkable Communities. These guidelines identify ways to design new neighborhoods that will be more interactive, walkable, enjoyable, and livable.

 

Increase access to healthy food by creating farmers’ markets and supporting existing ones

Cities can support local agriculture and bring healthy food to residents by defining farmers’ markets in the comprehensive plan and zoning code and encouraging them to accept the electronic benefit transfer card (EBT) and WIC coupons.

Examples of Local Policies

Lincoln City’s zoning code permits market gardens in a number of residential and commercial districts and special planning areas. A market garden is defined as “a relatively small scale farming operation (20 to 40 acres in size) where the production of a diversity of fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers is grown for sales primarily for direct human consumption rather than as feed for animals or for major processing before consumption.”

Portland’s Urban Food Zoning Code Update Project

Resources

Planning to Eat? Innovative Local Government Plans and Policies to Build Healthy Food Systems in the United States. Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities- Buffalo Partnership. 2011. This policy brief includes a synthesis of recent best practices of local government policy and planning designed to strengthen policy and planning community food systems.