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The practice of downzoning is used to restrict development, usually by reducing the allowable density of the property. It holds a number of advantages and disadvantages for both communities and REALTORS®. Find out more about what downzoning is, the issues behind it, and its impacts on property values with the material on this page.


"A change in zoning from a higher to a lower or from a more active to less active classification... In these cases, there is no taking under eminent domain and thus no compensation paid to the affected landowner who helplessly sees the property reduce in value."

Source: The Language of Real Estate, (Chicago, IL: Real Estate Education Company, 2000).

General Information

The downzoning uprising and the fight against density, (Forbes, Sept. 26, 2011).

Downzoning gets final OK in Staten Island's Westerleigh Avenue, (silive.com, Apr. 17, 2008).

Downzoning debated, decried, (North Denver News, Jan. 5, 2006).

eBooks & Other Resources

Books, Videos, Research Reports & More

The resources below are available for loan through Information Services. Up to three books, tapes, CDs and/or DVDs can be borrowed for 30 days from the Library for a nominal fee of $10. Call Information Services at 800-874-6500 for assistance.

The Complete Guide to Zoning, (Adobe eBook).

Field Guides & More

These field guides and other resources in the Virtual Library may also be of interest:

Field Guide to Zoning Laws & Ordinances

Information Services Blog

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The inclusion of links on this field guide does not imply endorsement by the National Association of REALTORS®. NAR makes no representations about whether the content of any external sites which may be linked in this field guide complies with state or federal laws or regulations or with applicable NAR policies. These links are provided for your convenience only and you rely on them at your own risk.