John Mack - Newtown Supervisor

Challenging Traditional "Euclidian Zoning" As It Applies to Newtown Township

Video recorded on Wednesday, April 1, 2021

Seth Shapiro, Director of Planning and Urban Design at BartonPartners, was a guest speaker at the April 1, 2021, Newtown Economic Committee (EDC) Zoom meeting. He focused on the problems of "Euclidean Zoning," which is a system of zoning whereby a town or community is divided into areas in which specific uses of land are permitted. The term is derived from Village of Euclid, Ohio et al. v. Ambler Realty Co., 272 U.S. 365 (1926), case in which the Supreme Court upheld the right of a locality to enforce such a system.

Mr. Shapiro summarized the problems of such zoning, which is prevalent in Newtown and includes the Business Commons LI and O-LI zones, which the EDC recommended to be modified to allow more types of businesses in these zones. One way to do that, which Mr. Shapiro explained, is via an "Overlay Zone."

In the beginning - at the bequest of EDC member Karen Miller - Mr. Shapiro discusses his firm's work on the Wegmans project in Lower Makefield. For more on that, read "Lower Makefield Supervisors Finally Approve the Wegmans 'Mixed-Use' Center Despite Resident Opposition" (see story embedded below).

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