Yes! A lot of the zoning laws we currently have need to go. Unfortunately, they ain’t going away as long as the banks and their political cronies remain in control.
Tbh banks probably don’t care much about zoning laws. Zoning is predominantly the domain of petit-bourgiousie politics, particularly in America where it’s a pretty middle class feature of mostly the suburbanites. Simplifying the zoning laws or even introducing European style zoning (where specific areas of a municipality can be zoned for single uses, but broadly speaking everything is mixed use so long as certain environmental rules are observed to make sure someone’s light industry isn’t going to stink up the neighborhood or make living in the area super loud and obnoxious at all times of the day) is readily resisted by suburban residents who own their own homes and they’ll fight it because either it will in reality or they are afraid it my reduce their property values and resale values. Which in so far as we’re going to live in a commodities-first society will be a massive factor in how these people vote. School districts are as heady a battle ground for local politics ghouls for the same reason, because so long as the local district they leave in is considered “good”, it helps property values and raises them. Which means once these people lose the kids and they move out and go on their own their parents can cash out and leave to a smaller and more manageable condo in Florida. Or to just move to a cheaper place that’s not much different because the relative difference in home and property values IS their retirement plan.
The later bit can probably be weakened by acknowledging that America has like, absolutely no retirement policy as Social Security has been weakened over time to encourage Americans to put money into entirely private 401k plans and gamble their retirement futures on the health of the market, with some tax provisions to make it “stable” (never mind the first generation trend of 401k retirees being forced to return to the work force because their savings plan collapsed or does not offer checks large enough to sustain them). Reinforcing social security to the point it’s a universal pension that can sustain people at a minimum level would help weaken the emphasis of home values as a retirement plan.
That’s just based on acknowledging basic zoning history. There’s a lot more that can be plugged into it to reduce the factor of housing being a nest egg and to free it up from its nature as a commodity in that way. Since once of course property values become a not-primary concern it’d be easier to build a LaCabousier (I don’t even know if I spelled his name right) styled housing block to add more housing, which before would have been a massive financial bomb to housing values in the area.
Bank financing is mostly concerned as to how a building is built because building anything is super expensive. Deregulating zoning won’t make building so cheap I can do it over night and builders and developers WILL need to take out loans to do anything. Banks are interested first in whether the project will produce sufficient and save returns that you can at least make the minimum payments on the loans you have to take out to build. So in so far as the market exists and you need money to build your thing you will have to have a bank go, “yes but could you add a Dave and Busters” just to make sure that you can pay off the loan in twenty years.
The natural way to fix this is to just return entirely to municipal guided development where cities have a much larger budget for building and development than what they may have now and talking over much, much more to cut out middlemen and be their own vehicle of building apartments and shopping arcades as extruded from the imagination of the local planning department and they rent that out to you. But that’s probably what you and Zak absolutely don’t want. But that’s the truth when it comes to construction financing. You can’t leave the bank if you’re still going to keep the paradigm we are in.