Planning and Zoning
01/14/2023 | Planning and Zoning
What are building planning and zoning? And how are they different between cities and states?
Building planning and zoning are urban planning techniques used to control land usage in towns, cities, and other locations. Zoning is a collective right to property that divides an area into distinct zones with specific regulations for each one. It helps promote efficient real estate markets and influences the layout of towns and cities. Zoning also affects the kind, size, density, placement, and function of buildings within those areas. Building Planning is another mechanism that works with zoning to determine how to structure development and what types of projects can occur at specific sites. Building Planning ensures that buildings are created in any given location while still allowing development opportunities according to local government regulations. Understanding these two concepts makes it possible to create a safe living environment while providing flexibility when building projects between different cities or states.
Why are there laws for land planning and zoning?
Land use restrictions and zoning laws are essential tools used to manage real estate development in the United States. Beyond regulating current structures, these laws also direct future construction, impacting prospective buyers and real estate developers. Zoning is a popular type of land-use regulation utilized by cities and towns to control development within their boundaries, while land planning and land use refer to how people adapt the land for their needs.
Understanding these regulations cannot be overstated; failure to comply can lead to costly fines or penalties for those who don't follow local ordinances. Buyers and developers alike need to familiarize themselves with the zoning rules in any given area before deciding to buy or develop property there. Additionally, consulting with local authorities or experts can help ensure that your plans comply with all relevant legislation so you will avoid any unexpected issues.
Why do we need land-use planning?
The central government uses planning as an instrument for regulatory purposes in managing land use and future development. Land-use planning is no longer solely focused on the current land uses. It needs to be more strategic and comprehensive to take full advantage of the land's benefits.
A zoning ordinance consists of multiple regulations governing zoning, which include requirements for lot size, bulk, height, and floor area ratio (far). These regulations determine the types of land uses allowed within a municipality and prevent proximity between incompatible activities. Additionally, zoning legislation can help improve security and resiliency by defining setbacks or imposing restrictions on construction near wetlands or flood plains. Zoning laws may separate blocks into three districts: residential, business, and industry, with low-, medium-, and high-density areas further divided among them.
How land use regulations and zoning laws can affect you?
It's imperative to understand the local zoning laws when purchasing land for construction. Every municipality and area has specific regulations which can impact what kind of building you can construct and how you use it. Common examples include restrictions on utility line locations, specifications for building setbacks from streets, boundaries, height limits, off-street parking requirements, preservation of historical or cultural sites, and environmental factors. It's also important to note that each municipality will usually have three main zones—residential, business, and industrial—. Therefore, before investing in the land, you must familiarize yourself with your area's zoning laws to know what type of property is allowed there.
Major differences between land-use planning and zoning
Land-use planning and zoning are interrelated concepts, but they have significant differences. Land-use planning is the overall process of utilizing land resources while protecting the environment and people's quality of life. On the other hand, zoning is a tool used by governments to regulate property development and use. Land use can be divided into six major categories—urban, commercial, agricultural, forest, transportation, and recreational—while zoning typically comes in eight forms: residential, commercial, industrial, agricultural institutional open space mixed-use planned unit developments, and historical districts. Ultimately both land-use planning and zoning serve different yet essential roles in keeping our cities organized and well-managed.