Call them by many names -- distressed, premature, or zombie subdivisions, those platted but unbuilt developments so emblematic of the 2008 financial meltdown. No matter how much the housing market bounces back, many of these development entitlements are highly unlikely to be executed. Western Lands and Communities, a joint venture of the Lincoln Institute and the Sonoran Institute, has been working with communities where zombie subdivisions are common, and are seeking input about best practices and policy responses through this survey.
The results from developers, planning officials, lenders and other key players in local real estate markets will help identify the extent of unfinished or distressed subdivisions and development entitlements and policy options for addressing them. This is the final component of a four year project which included expert convenings and workshops in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho and Utah, as well as a number of research papers and conference presentations. All of the work will culminate in a Lincoln Institute Policy Focus Report to be published later this year.
Lincoln Institute fellow Peter Pollock will discuss some preliminary findings about zombie subdivisions at the Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute's annual Land Use Conference in Denver March 6-8. A sneak preview of the survey results is also set for the American Planning Association's National Planning Conference in Chicago April 13-17.