Once again, rational argumentation "driving" home the point that design prefigures outcomes. If the community is to be walkable, these legal an procedural hurdles must be eased ... and this easing cannot occur without leadership from the top.
We Want More Walkable Neighborhoods -- but Can Our Communities Deliver?, by F. Kaid Benfield (Huffington Post)
... Communities wishing to build walkable neighborhoods or retrofit old ones to be more welcoming and useful to pedestrians face an array of challenges, from lending practices that favor conventional suburban development based on automobile-first design to outdated zoning and regulatory schemes that effectively prohibit things like corner stores mixed with residences, a diversity of housing types in the same development, and pedestrian-first design that places building entrances closer to sidewalks.
While historic neighborhoods and other older but now "nonconforming" walkable development are essentially "grandfathered" in, plans for new construction that seek to mimic those older neighborhoods can seldom be permitted as a matter of right; instead, they must face a gauntlet of legal and procedural hurdles in order to obtain variances and special permissions. This makes the entitlement process for walkability more lengthy, expensive, and uncertain, assuring that in most communities it will remain the exception, not the rule. In the words of Atlanta architect Eric Bethany, "most current zoning ordinances are a combination of good intentions producing bad outcomes for most places."