"Snob zoning" is racial segregation by another name

By Elizabeth Winkler

September 25


Across the country, American communities employ “snob zoning” policies that forbid builders from constructing apartment buildings or impose minimum residential lot requirements. They are often presented as driven by concerns that building smaller units could change the character of a community. Some ordinances even exclude modest single-family homes in the name of preserving a neighborhood’s “aesthetic uniformity.” Such rules effectively impose a price floor for the cost of housing, making it impossible for people who live below a certain means to afford them, a recent report by the Century Foundation explains.