The Final Review

Burnham’s Blog

The Final Review shares the knowledge of Burnham’s experts in building permit expediting and code compliance. Learn about different jurisdictional building permit requirements, and stay up-to-date on the Americans with Disabilities Act and local accessibility standards. Follow the latest in sustainability, including building energy codes and sustainability design developments.

New Federal Legislation to Increase Inclusionary Zoning

Aug 28, 2018 10:00:00 AM

Many cities across the United States are facing an affordable housing crisis. In response, steps are being taken in some parts of the country to use inclusionary zoning to require or stimulate the construction of housing for low- and middle-income households whenever new developments are being built. These efforts are usually at the local level. However, now there is an attempt to mandate inclusionary zoning at the federal level. This summer, New Jersey Senator Cory Booker introduced Senate Bill 3342. The legislation contains inclusive zoning requirements for federally funded projects in order to encourage more affordable housing as well as reduce discrimination resulting from exclusionary zoning practices.

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The Need for Affordable Living: Rethinking Public Housing

Jul 19, 2018 10:00:00 AM

Many American cities are facing an affordable housing crisis that affects middle and low income families. Some cities and states are adopting laws and policies to encourage the private development of affordable housing. However, a more comprehensive public housing program, housing funded and administered by a government authority, would also help reduce the current shortage. In this post, we look at a few of the reasons public housing has encountered barriers in the United States and some public housing programs abroad.

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Controversial California Legislation to Increase Transit Oriented Development

Mar 21, 2018 10:00:00 AM

A contentious California bill is designed to increase affordable housing and sustainability by providing density bonuses for developments near transit hubs throughout the state. This latest legislative effort to solve California’s housing crisis and encourage walkable communities, SB 827, was introduced in the state senate in January 2018. The bill already faces opposition by some because its requirements would force local communities to accept denser development.

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The Quest for Affordable Housing: Chicago Adopts New Developer Requirements

Oct 24, 2017 10:00:00 AM

Chicago recently took additional steps to increase much needed affordable housing. Many major urban areas, including Chicago, are bolstering their inclusionary housing requirements due to the serious shortage of housing for low and middle-income households. Chicago City Council adopted two ordinances this October amending the City’s Affordable Requirements Ordinance (ARO) to add two pilot programs. The new requirements will affect developers with residential projects in some of Chicago’s growing areas.

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How Will California’s New Affordable Housing Laws Impact Developers?

Oct 10, 2017 10:00:00 AM

California’s Governor Brown signed into law a package of bills on September 29, 2017, intended to increase the development of affordable housing. The state is deep in the middle of an affordable housing crisis and has been searching for solutions. Some major California cities passed ordinances in recent years, such as San Francisco’s new density bonus programs, to stimulate affordable housing development. However, change is also needed at the state level, and the set of new California laws has important implications for residential housing developers.

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New York City Zoning: Major Changes for East Midtown Manhattan

Aug 15, 2017 8:00:00 AM

New York City has undertaken a number of significant rezoning efforts in recent years. The latest change received City Council approval on August 9, 2017, the rezoning of a section of Midtown Manhattan known as East Midtown.The amendment of the Zoning Resolution of the City of New York is intended to encourage development in a major business center. The inability to construct larger-scale office towers has slowed growth in East Midtown. Rezoning the area to encourage development while accounting for the needs of different stakeholders has been a number of years in the making.

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New San Francisco Affordable Housing Incentives: Density Bonuses

Jun 27, 2017 8:00:00 AM

San Francisco recently adopted several new density bonus programs to help ease the city’s affordable housing crisis. Despite San Francisco’s economically diverse population, the city has one of the nation’s highest housing costs. San Francisco has taken various steps over the years to encourage affordable housing projects but much more needs to be done. In this post, we will look at the new San Francisco density bonus programs as well as the important role of the California Density Bonus Law.

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Progressive Chicago North Branch Industrial Corridor Modernization Approved

May 19, 2017 8:00:00 AM

The Chicago Plan Commission yesterday approved the North Branch Industrial Corridor Framework Plan and Design Guidelines (Framework). This new plan will radically transform the large industrial area along the Chicago River between Kinzie Street and Fullerton Avenue, creating opportunities for investment and redevelopment. If fully realized, Chicago’s North Branch Industrial Corridor Framework Plan could dramatically impact the City’s economy in addition to reshaping Chicago’s built environment.

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Los Angeles Construction Moratorium Ballot Initiative Defeated: Measure S

Mar 8, 2017 9:15:00 AM

On March 7, 2017, Los Angeles residents voted down a ballot initiative that included a two-year moratorium on much of the city’s new construction. The very controversial initiative, known as Measure S, was formally called the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative (Initiative). The Mayor of Los Angeles and a broad coalition of City of Los Angeles Council members, California State Assembly members, businesses, and organizations opposed the Initiative.

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Removing Barriers to Affordable Housing: Housing Development Toolkit

Oct 13, 2016 8:00:00 AM

Last month, the White House released the Housing Development Toolkit (Toolkit), a guide to promoting affordable housing development. The Toolkit’s recommendations are based on different state and local jurisdiction initiatives to remove barriers to affordable housing. Although the regulation of housing development is normally left to states and municipalities, the White House is hoping the Toolkit will help local governments adopt strategies to encourage an increase in affordable housing.

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Overview of Chicago Transit-Oriented Development

Jul 27, 2016 8:00:00 AM

Chicago is experiencing a growth construction projects near public transportation. A variety of organizations and government agencies are working on initiatives to support transit-oriented development in the Chicago Region. Last fall, the Chicago City Council adopted changes to its transit-oriented development ordinance to encourage more building close to transit. We at Burnham thought we would take a look at steps being taken to foster Chicago’s transit-oriented development and some resulting projects.

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Historic Zoning Changes: New York City Zoning for Quality and Affordability

May 19, 2016 8:00:00 AM

This past March, New York City adopted amendments that are major changes to its zoning regulations, Zoning Resolution of the City of New York. These amendments seek to increase the amount of affordable housing in all five boroughs and improve the quality of the city’s housing. We at Burnham have been following the process for the adoption of the changes to New York City’s zoning regulations and are providing an overview of Zoning for Quality and Affordability, some of the complex amendments to New York City’s zoning regulations.

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