Title page for ETD etd-04282005-012225

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Paulson, Joanna Marie
Author's Email Address jpaulson@vt.edu
URN etd-04282005-012225
Title Rural Planning and Zoning Adoption in the United States
Degree Master of Urban and Regional Planning
Department Urban Affairs and Planning
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Koebel, Charles Theodore Committee Chair
Mayer, Heike Committee Member
Richardson, Jesse J. Committee Member
  • Rural planning
  • process of adoption
  • zoning ordinance
  • comprehensive plan
Date of Defense 2005-04-19
Availability unrestricted
Planning literature in the United States focuses heavily on urban centers. However, the 2000 Census considers one-fifth of America’s population to be rural. To adequately plan for this portion of the American population requires an understanding of the strengths and barriers to planning in rural areas. Such an understanding is noticeably absent from current planning literature. Therefore, this thesis seeks to determine what factors influence the adoption of comprehensive plans and zoning ordinances in rural counties in the United States. Through an evaluation of variables pertaining to urban hierarchy, institutional factors and political processes, two independent variables stand out. For both comprehensive planning and zoning, legislation mandating adoption and higher median household incomes both encourage adoption and show statistical significance. The percentage of the county’s work force that works within the county (versus commuting) also positively correlates with zoning ordinance adoption and is statistically significant. In addition to clarifying the processing of planning and zoning adoption in rural areas, this study also provides a review of state planning and zoning statutes and reports primary research on the frequency of land use planning tools in rural America. This study highlights the need for a better understanding of rural planning in general and in particular the political structures and processes in rural areas.
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  ThesisJMP.pdf 881.10 Kb 00:04:04 00:02:05 00:01:50 00:00:55 00:00:04

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