Loss of Greenspace in the City of Austin from the Grant of Minor Variances.    

      Part One of this project examines the feasibility of, and demonstrates the possible applications in, conducting a zoning research project on the World Wide Web. Please click all images.

Suran Wije, Geography 859A, University of Texas at Austin. See Part Two.


      Zoning by-laws regulate land use in the United States. These laws divide the land user by intensity. The intensity-lowest users are single family residences and the intensity-highest users are high-rise apartments and business or industrial buildings.
      Zoning laws have different requirements depending on the intensity of usage. For example, a single family residence would have to leave a certain amount of land open (for trees, shrubs and grass or greenspace) in their front, side and backyard under the law. An amendment to the law is needed to change these requirements.
      However, in each city there is a Board of Minor Variance which has the power to grant "relief" to its residents without amending the zoning laws. Under the law, violations in zoning are allowed when they are "justified." The Board of Minor Variance considers hundreds of requests each year. 





 Part Two investigates who the applicants are, what part of the city they're from, what they're requesting and most importantly, how many acres of trees, shrubs and grass (greenspace) was lost in Austin during most of 1996 without amending zoning laws.

For best results, please use at least an  HTML 4+  browser, preferably Netscape, to view Part Two