Community Benefits Agreements: Flexibility and Inclusion in U.S. Zoning



Community benefits agreements (CBAs) have been recently introduced as adjuncts into the traditional U.S. zoning process. These agreements are executed by developers of major real estate projects and community groups representing the neighborhood where the development is to be built. Government often collaborates in CBAs to varying degrees, including participating in the CBA negotiations, or executing the document. CBA provisions usually bind developers in two ways: (1) CBAs impose requirements similar to those of typical land use regulation, focusing on reducing physical negative externalities of the project; (2) CBAs institute community development obligations, including providing jobs and support for community building. Community groups value CBAs because they give greater and more direct control over their neighborhoods and address community enhancement issues not covered by zoning. Many developers believe that neighborhood support through a CBA will help gain any needed governmental approvals. Public policy is served because CBAs bring inclusiveness and transparency to the land regulation process, even though there may be a loss in public planning on a municipal-wide basis.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.New York Law SchoolNew YorkUSA

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