It’s important to follow zoning regulations to ensure that a building adheres to requirements for land use and development. There are several types of zoning that are helpful to understand.
Types of zoning
Residential zoning usually covers single and multi-family residences as well as mobile homes. This type of zoning specifies how far the building must be set back, the lot size and the building size.
Commercial zoning sets requirements for the type of businesses allowed, the building size and parking requirements, for example. Industrial zoning addresses sites for manufacturing, warehouses or other industrial activities. It also regulates noise and pollution.
Mixed-use zoning may be a combination of several types of buildings in one zone, like residential and commercial properties.
While the regulations themselves may be straightforward, there are common disputes that arise over land use. One dispute that comes up often is about non-conforming use, meaning that the property once met zoning regulations but no longer does because of new requirements. Neighboring properties may object to the non-conforming use.
Sometimes, a property owner will be granted a variance which is an exception to the zoning regulations. This can cause disputes between property owners who want to keep the area all one use.
Because zoning regulations often limit building heights, disputes can also happen when a builder wants an exception to these rules. The property owners nearby may be concerned with increased traffic or that the structure may block their current view.
It’s important to follow the proper process to request an exception.