The overall purpose of zoning regulations is for the health and safety of the community and to regulate growth. In general, zoning laws, which include zoning ordinances and land use regulations, are used to control the use of property. Since zoning laws impact the owner’s use of their property they are important for property owners to understand and be familiar with.
Commercial zoning laws can impact the conduct of a business by controlling the type of activities a business can conduct in a certain area and the category of business that may operate in a particularly- zoned area. Zoning laws also regulate the features of the building that are permitted on the property and other considerations as well including setbacks from the street, parking and other considerations.
There are different zoning categories that cities commonly use including commercially-zoned property which allows commercial activities to be conducted in the zone including retail and office; industrially- zoned property which is used for manufacturing activities; residentially-zoned property which is used for single-family and multifamily residences; agriculturally-zoned property which is utilized for agricultural activities; and recreationally-zoned property that is set aside for recreational purposes. In some instances, property may be zoned for multiple uses or mixed use.
How the land is zoned determines the types of activities can be conducted on that particular property. Given the importance of zoning is for the use of property, it is crucial for property owners to be familiar with the different types of zoning, how they work and what to do if their property is negatively impacted by zoning laws.