Article Title

“Spot Zoning”—A Spot That Could Be Removed from the Law

Publication Title

Washington University Journal of Urban and Contemporary Law


This Article proposes that courts abandon spot zoning terminology and instead focus on the underlying reasons for invalidating zoning: lack of a relationship to a valid police-power purpose, inconsistency with the community plan, or unreasonable discrimination between parcels of land. First, this Article surveys spot zoning cases to demonstrate that courts invalidate zoning for the three reasons just stated, and not simply because it is "spot zoning." Second, this Article demonstrates that the term "spot zoning" is no longer a useful legal term. Finally, this Article argues that courts should abandon the term "spot zoning" in favor of general principles of zoning law.