Chris Redfearn and graduated zoning (Henry George-sque, but with a modern YIMBY twist)

I don’t know how twist-y this is, but I like the idea.

Chris Redfearn is one of my colleagues in Price and a brilliant guy–but he is a social media hermit. He and I spent a good deal of time chatting about land economics, YIMBYism, and real estate, and over coffee we tossed around some ideas for graduated zoning that changes the incentive structures and aligns incentives properly for homeowners. Chris and I have long, weird conversations that I sometimes think we should tape.

To the point: zoning appears in two flavors to force a choice for people who a) see zoning as a way to secure freedom of association and local control, and b) people who want to gain asset wealth from their homes.

Not both.

Flavor #1: Stability Zone Housing in stability zones is locked in for housing units. No new, additional units. The neighborhood will look the same and feel the same unless the locals petition to change it. But homeowners there only get what they paid for the house at the end of the occupancy. Everything else over and above the original purchase price goes into a fund to provide rent subsidies for housing elsewhere.

Flavor #2: Speculation Zone: You buy in this zone, you keep all the proceeds of the home and value appreciation less normal tax amounts…but you have absolutely no say in what new housing goes in. All sorts of say in big infrastructure, etc. But none whatsoever in new housing projects.

Yes, I know, this can never happen, it’s stupid, it’s politically infeasible, yadda yadda.

But it’s awfully interesting. And a *man* generated most of the ideas so it’s waaaaaaaay more valid than anyting I might say.

Que: 4,000,000 tweets in my face.

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