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Zoning laws may restrict residential real estate development

Whether a person is building a home, a manufacturing plant, a store or are looking to start a farm, they will need to make sure that they are in the correct "zone" in which to complete their project. This is because cities have different parcels of land reserved for different uses. This is known as zoning. Through zoning comes better city planning with fewer conflicts.

One type of zoning is residential zoning. This designates where people can build residential real estate, such as single-family homes, apartment or condominium complexes, trailer parks and other types of housing. What kind of animals are permissible in a person's residence also usually falls under zoning laws. For example, a residential zone may allow dogs and cats as pets, but not livestock such as pigs or chickens. Residential zoning can also place limits on the types of home-based businesses that are permissible.

Another type of zoning is commercial zoning. Commercial zoning may cover offices, malls, bars, hotels and warehouses. Sometimes the type of commercial zoning permissible is dependent on what parking facilities will be available. In addition, some businesses, such as bars, must keep a certain distance from other buildings such as religious buildings or educational facilities.

A third type of zoning is industrial zoning. Industrial zoning may limit the types of businesses that may be built on such land. Noise issues and storage facilities may be factors in whether a business can be built in an industrial zoning area. Lot coverage and building height may also be regulated through industrial zoning.

A fourth type of zoning is agricultural zoning. This type of zoning usually puts limitations on development density, and preserves land for farm uses. This can keep farm areas from being split-up through the creation of subdivisions and other types of residential development. Sometimes it is necessary to designate land as agricultural in order for farmers to take advantage of federal incentives and subsidies.

These are only a few of the types of zoning available; there are others. Ultimately, before beginning any type of real estate project, it may help to contact an attorney, to ensure the project is in line with the zoning laws in the area where it is being constructed.

Source: FindLaw, "Types of Zoning," Accessed Aug. 21, 2017

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