Purpose of Zoning

Zoning protects the rights of property owners while promoting the general welfare of the community. By dividing land into categories according to use, and setting regulations for these categories, a Zoning Ordinance can govern private land use and segregate incompatible uses. The purpose of zoning is to locate particular land uses where they are most appropriate, considering public utilities, road access, and the established development pattern. In addition to categorizing land by uses such as residential, commercial, and industrial, a zoning ordinance also specifies such details as building setback lines, the height and bulk of buildings, the size and location of open spaces, and the intensity to which the land may be developed. Zoning does not specify minimum construction standards; these are set forth in separate building codes.

The Need for Rezoning

When a property owner wants to use land in a way that is not permitted by the zoning of his or her property, the owner must request to rezone the property to a classification which permits the desired use. A rezoning is a legislative action which is considered through a complex process.

Generally, rezoning’s are justifiable under one of the following three circumstances:

  1. When the requested rezoning is consistent with long range land use plans adopted by the appropriate governing body
  2. When there was an error or oversight in the original zoning of the property
  3. When changes have occurred to conditions in the vicinity of the property which prevent the reasonable use of the property as currently zoned

Rezoning and Variance Applications

Variance Application

click here – Use this application to request relief for property setbacks

Rezoning Application

click here – Use this application to request change to zoning status