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Laws at the municipal level regulating the uses of real property in certain areas. For example, land in a certain area may be zoned only for commercial use or residential use. Zoning laws exist to improve the quality of life in a local area; for instance, they guard against an oil refinery being placed in an area where families with children live. Depending on the laws of the municipality, zoning laws may be suspended at certain times for certain developments, especially those likely to result in an economic boon for the community.
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The regulation of the uses of property; the density of populations employing those uses; and the kinds,sizes,and proportions of structures that can be erected on property.Zoning was first put into place in New York City in 1916 as a reaction against the construction of the Equitable Building, because its 41-story height cast shadows over neighboring residences and affected people's quality of life.The concept soon caught on and was enacted by nearly every city and town in America as a function of their police power. Today, Houston,Texas, is the only major American city with no zoning regulations at all.

• Acurrent use of property that is no longer permitted after a zoning change may be allowed to continue for some period of time. Purchasers of such properties should make sure the use will still be allowed, if that is important. Purchasers of nearby properties should not make assumptions about zoning merely because of what already exists nearby.

• Zoning variances—permission for nonconforming uses—are typically granted only if it would be a hardship on the property to do otherwise. An economic hardship on the owner is irrelevant. Hardship is usually found only when the property has no other practical use other than the one planned and there is a need in the community for that use.

• Zoning variances, when granted, usually contain some requirements not otherwise demanded of other property owners, including such things as facade renovation of an older building, the necessity for off-street parking, or any number of other demands.

• Euclidean zoning, also known as building block zoning, is the most common. It is named for the town of Euclid, Ohio, which provided the test case for Supreme Court review and confirmation as constitutional. Land is divided into specific geographical districts with permitted uses within each type of district. Districts are usually designated R1 for single-family residential, R2 for two-family homes, R3 for multifamily, and so on. Its proponents like the long history of interpretation and the ease of implementation. Its critics say it lacks flexibility and fossilizes outdated theories of land-use planning.

• Performance zoning uses goal-oriented criteria to establish guidelines for the intensity of land use and the impact on infrastructure and on surrounding areas. It employs four major concepts: open-space ratio, impervious surface ratio (roads and parking lots), floor area ratio, and density. Zoning districts have descriptions such as wilderness districts, agricultural districts, and development districts. Proponents like the flexibility, but critics say the system is too complicated.

• Incentive zoning is a rewards-based system that seeks to encourage development to meet a city's needs. The system starts with standard restrictions on building size and height and occupancy densities, and then offers bonuses if developers will include needed amenities such as low-income housing, transit access, or beautification features. By agreeing to the bonus items, the developer may increase the densities or gain other variances.

• Design-based zoning is used in newer mixed-use urban planning models. It concentrates on building design and compatibility in an area rather than specific uses. Zoning districts might be called traditional neighborhood, suburban neighborhood, or transit-oriented development.

The Complete Real Estate Encyclopedia by Denise L. Evans, JD & O. William Evans, JD. Copyright © 2007 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
He said: The suggested branch of the government to enforce these measures, should ensure that the land use and zoning regulations in the country protect and enrich the historical/heritage sites, and at the same time, adapt to the evolving demand for and trends in property developments.
Municipal zoning regulations provide a means by which city governments may "effectively coordinate land uses among neighboring landowners and resolve community conflicts before they occur." (111) Zoning ideally functions to ensure compatibility and stability amongst land uses, balancing the needs and desires of the community.
Mark how to come into compliance with zoning regulations. He is given the option of ceasing to operate the business from Woodstock and advertising it as being in Woodstock.
ADC's Digivance system provides network coverage with significant cost savings through a technique known as "Base-Station Hoteling." By centralizing base-station equipment and using Digivance, wireless carriers can easily deploy antennas into desired coverage areas, unconstrained by limitations of traditional base-station deployments and complicated zoning regulations. Digivance is the only solution that digitizes the wideband RF for transport over fiber.
COUNTRYSIDE: While your owner-built homes are interesting, I'm guessing the majority were not built to code and zoning regulations.
Communities must do away with lax antitrust laws and local tax breaks for large retailers, and fix up zoning regulations, Mitchell argues.
Shareholders' financial investment ensures the farms against crop failures and natural disasters, while attachment to a specific piece of land lends members' hearts and hands to guard against hazardous zoning regulations and environmental threats.
Here Scott comes close to legitimating militia-like paranoia, suggesting, for instance, that ordinary municipal zoning regulations lie only a few steps up the slippery slope from "concentration camps built in wartime to create and maintain a legible, bounded, concentrated state space." In this mode Scott essentially argues that whenever a peasant and an outside expert disagree over what crops to plant or what farming methods to use, the peasant is bound to be right because he knows his field while all the expert knows is what some guys in white lab coats told him.
Pursuant to the provisions of RLPA, religious assemblies could successfully argue that they are exempt from neutral zoning regulations such as parking, historical preservation and lot size restrictions under the guise that application of these rules would "substantially burden" religious exercise.
Can zoning regulations prohibit me from having my office in my house?
The OPF summary claimed that the CDA had initially allowed conversion of the land use but later declined saying it was not covered under the Islamabad Zoning Regulations 1992.
ISLAMABAD -- Capital Development Authority (CDA) on Sunday carried out an anti-encroachment Operation along Murree Road in Malpur Area and demolished several illegal structures constructed in violation of CDA Zoning Regulations.