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Transit-Oriented And Joint Development: Case Studies And Legal Issues


The purpose of this digest is provide an update to The Zoning and Real Estate Implications of Transit-Oriented Development (TCRP LRD 12). When TCRP LRD 12 was published in early 1999, only a handful of transit-oriented development (TOD) and transit-based joint development statutory and regulatory programs existed in the United States; those that did exist were, at that juncture, new and relatively untested. Since then, the field has filled with a number of new TOD and joint development programs, policies, and built projects, along with a robust academic and professional litera­ture. Cumulatively, these sources demonstrate a wide range of legal devices geared, directly and indirectly, toward promoting and building TOD and joint develop­ment projects.

This digest attempts to trace these developments, beginning with an overview of the significant literature since the late 1990s. The literature summary is followed by a comprehensive survey of recently adopted federal, state, and regional statutory and regulatory programs promoting or facilitating TOD and joint development and a review of related case law. The digest’s third sec­tion provides detailed case studies from Portland, Ore­gon; Oakland, California; Chicago, Illinois; Plano, Texas; and Morristown, New Jersey. These case stud­ies, while illustrating important legal issues, demon­strate that TOD success extends beyond laws, financial mechanisms, and public–private contracts. The report concludes that these constructs, while instrumental to the success of TOD and joint development, are indica­tive of a more basic foundation at the root of every suc­cessful project—leadership from the public, nonprofit, and private sectors.

We expect significant changes over the next decade for TOD in America. Recent studies indicate that over the next couple of decades the country will need to build several thousand new TODs to keep up with demand, which is a stark contrast to the several hundred present at the beginning of the 21st century.