Adequate Public Facilities Ordinances: The Challenges of Concurrency

File Type: Free Content, Article
Release Date: January 2006
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Meridian Cool Springs Mixed-Use Development

Many growing communities are faced with the challenge of providing public services to their expanding population. Adequate Public Facilities Ordinances (APFOs or Concurrency Regulations) have emerged as a popular planning technique, designed to ensure public infrastructure is in place before new development is allowed. Requiring concurrency between infrastructure development and new construction is an appealing option for planning officials because it prevents a community from being overwhelmed by growth. Despite these benefits, APFO regulations have been confronted by both legal attack and policy debate. Real estate developers, affordable housing advocates and “smart growth” proponents have all challenged the wisdom and legality of APFOs. This research project reviews current literature, and examine the legal, economic, and social implications of adequate public facilities ordinances. It seeks to answer the question, “Can APFOs serve as a legitimate growth management technique?” This research was funded by an intern grant from the corporate NAIOP organization, and administered by the Government Affairs department.

Submitted by: Richard Buttimer, Steven Ott and Dustin Read, University of North Carolina Charlotte

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