Zoning: Definition and Purpose
Zoning consists of dividing the community into districts (residential, commercial and industrial) and regulating within such districts the permitted uses of land, lot sizes, density, yard requirements, building heights, parking, accessory uses and buildings, and other requirements.
Its purpose is to conserve and promote the health, safety and welfare of the people of the community through reasonable standards to which buildings must conform.
Zoning plays a major role in not only the development of new subdivisions, but more importantly, in the preservation of existing neighborhoods. After a subdivision is complete and the homes are occupied, changes begin to occur - fences are installed, driveways are widened, swimming pools and decks are constructed and room additions are built. Over a period of time, the character of the subdivision begins to change and if left uncontrolled, deterioration of the neighborhood may result. Zoning regulations serve to control these changes in response to the individual and collective needs of the community.
Homeowners' Role in Zoning
Effective zoning depends on the support of the citizens of the community and an understanding of the local zoning regulations. While some will resist zoning on the basis that it restricts what is allowed on private property, few will fail to recognize that zoning is essentially important to the quality of the community.