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 your 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 City Policies
The City of Walnut Creek's general plan and zoning ordinance places the highest residential densities downtown and near the BART station.
Local Government Commission (LGC) has many useful tools for interested in high density, mixed use development, including: Smart Growth Zoning Codes; A Resource Guide
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 general plan update, the zoning code, as the general plan, the bike and pedestrian master and specific plans, and redevelopment plans and financing.
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 by defining farmers’ markets in the general plan and zoning code and encouraging them to accept the electronic benefit transfer card (EBT) and WIC coupons
Photo Courtesy of City of Fresno Metro Ministry
Examples of City Policies
The City of Fresno worked with community members, the planning department and elected officials to amend its zoning code to define farmers' markets as an allowed use.
The cities of La Jolla, Fresnoand Ceres are partnering with schools to host farmers’ markets on school grounds.
The City of San Francisco’s Municipal Codeallows farmers markets to be held on properties under jurisdiction of the park and recreation commission, andrequires its farmers’ markets to accept Electronic Benefits cards (EBT)and WIC and senior nutrition coupons.
ChangeLab Solutions has model land use policies to protect and promote farmers' markets.
Increase access to healthy food by creating community gardens and supporting existing ones.
These lively neighborhood destinations can provide affordable produce to residents, neighborhood green space and places for physical activity. Cities can support and promote community gardens by defining them in their general plan and zoning code.
ChangeLab Solutions has model land use policies to protect and promote community gardens.
Limit unhealthy food around schools and in neighborhoods with over-concentration of unhealthy food outlets
Examples of City Policies
Photo Courtesy of City of Chino
The Towns of Calistoga, Truckee, and Cotati prohibit fast-food restaurants in order to preserve the character of the downtown district.
The City of Arcata limits the number of chain restaurants in the city to no more than 9 at one time.
The City of Los Angeles imposed a moratorium on fast food in South LA while simultaneously launching a package of economic initiatives for healthy food retail projects.
The City of Seaside and Town of Carmel by the Sea prohibit fast food, drive-in and chain restaurants.