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Charles H. Cheney of California

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In the 1910s, Charles Henry Cheney appeared as a dynamo in a new planning movement in California. He established the first state-wide conference on city planning, persuaded the legislature to pass the first city planning enabling act and encouraged cities to create a planning commission to prepare a master plan. Although most of the newly established planning commissions began to prepare a zoning ordinance, Cheney assisted their efforts because he perceived zoning as a primary element of a master plan. He drafted the first California city zoning enabling act to give unchartered cities the authority for establishing single-family residence districts, and prepared a number of zoning ordinances in the West Coast. However, in the 1920s, facing over-emphasis on the economic and social aspects of city planning, he became a guardian of beauty and drafted protective covenants including an art jury and architectural control for newly developed picturesque garden suburbs. Cheneymoved to Palos Verdes, one of those garden suburbs in Southern California, and devoted his life to its city building process until his death. This paper provides an overview of Cheney's planning practices and thoughts.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Civil Engineering Department, Tokai University, Kanagawa, Japan (

Publication date: 2003-07-01

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