What is zoning?

/ Uncategorized / By Alberto A

Zoning is a set of regulations or laws that determine what type of buildings you are allowed to constructon a piece of land. For example, on a particular piece of land that is strictly agricultural, you would only be able to construct things such as barns, livestock shelters, and silos; although what you can build will vary from city to city and state to state. Although,some areas may even be zoned to have more than one type of building.Such as allowing educational and agricultural buildings to be built in the same area.

Zoning will also determine how much you can build. It will dictate aspects such as building size and lot size, meaning it will restrict you from making a building as tall and as wide as you want. Even smaller projects can be limited by zoning. That is why it is important for anyone wanting to build or renovate anything to know your local zoning laws.

The types of zoning

Different jurisdictions classify their zoning differently and it there can be a variety of classifications. Following is some of the six of the most typical zoning categories:

Aesthetic – Whether or not you can add certain aspects to your property depends on how they affect the look of the community. This includes solar panels, satellite dishes, certain building materials, color patterns, fences, etc.

Agricultural – These zones protect farms from commercial and residential buildings, which could negatively affect the land and livestock. Some examples are barns, silos, poultry coops, etc.

Commercial – Many types of buildings are considered to be commercial. Some examples of commercial real estate are stores, offices, hotels, nightclubs, etc.

Historic - These zones are in place to protect the original condition of a property. Any building that is over 50 years old or is considered a significant piece of history or culture and is protected by historic zones?

Industrial - Examples of industrial zones are: airports, warehouses, power plants, factories, etc. The location of an industrial building is usually influenced by its proximity to markets, availability of materials, transport facilities, etc.

Mixed-use – As mentioned before, some zones allow for more than one type of building to be built in an area. Typically in a city, homes, shops, restaurants, and other developments can be built in the same area.

Residential – Residential zoning laws can determine how many homes or structures can be built on a property. An example would be a restriction on how many homes can be built per acre. These homes may include, single-family homes, multi-family homes, duplexes, trailer homes, apartments, condominiums, and so on.

Can the zoning of a property be changed?

Fortunately, zoning maps and ordinances are available to the public. Many government websites provide a zoning map, so it can easily be determined what can be built on a particular piece of land. For example, at nyc.gov you can find the city’s land use map through ZoLa. Each section is color-coded to match a certain area on the map that shows you what can be built on a given lot. In addition, letters represent the type of building. For example, a letter C might stand for commercial while F stands for farmland.

In conclusion, it is important to know the zoning of your area. This is because you may have a vision of constructing or renovating a building, but zoning laws can hold you from doing that. You should always know what you are allowed to do with a property before you purchase it so that you can pursue what you want to accomplish. Do as much research as you can and ask as many questions as you can, to get a better understanding of what is possible.