Best Practices for Publishing Online Zoning Codes


  • Understand several basic workflows for digital publishing, and cost, labor, and technical implications

  • Become familiar with popular (and lesser-known) software vendors and digital publishing services   

  • Learn how to evaluate which software or publishing services are best-suited toward publishing zoning ordinances and similarly-structured documents

  • Hear experience-based insights on how to implement popular web-based features, manage large files, introduce new software into an organization, and more


The printed page is not extinct, but electronic publishing is becoming a standard format for the digital age. From page-flipping online documents to custom-made web sites, there are dozens of applications and services for publishing documents online. But which methods are best for publishing long, highly structured documents like zoning codes online, and how does one approach this task with little or no web design experience?

The course identifies popular digital publication methods and provides strategic recommendations for forming a strong code conversion team. Topics include research, evaluation, and implementation of an online zoning code, as well as technical considerations such as file management, navigation, mobile display, ADA compliance, output types, and long-term document management.

The course will also include case studies from the Town of Morrisville, NC, and City of Los Angeles, CA – two agencies who have chosen different methods for publishing contemporary, feature-rich online zoning codes. Representatives from the code conversion teams will explain how they were able to meet project goals and overcome unexpected challenges.  

 This course is appropriate for planners new to the code conversion process, as well as experienced professionals who want fresh insights and a preview of the next generation of online publishing.