Definition of Zoning

The division of a city or town by legislative regulation into districts and the prescription and application in each district of regulations having to do with structural and architectural designs of buildings and of regulations prescribing use to which buildings within designated districts may be put. Division of land into zones, and within those zones, regulation of both the nature of land usage and the physical dimensions of uses including height setbacks and minimum area. Cheyenne Airport Bd. v. Rogers, Wyo., 707 P.2d 717, 726.

See also Buffer-zone; Cluster zoning; Comprehensive zoning plan; Conforming use; Land use planning; Master plan; Official map; Planned unit development; Special exception; Special use permit; Spot zoning; Variance.

Aesthetic zoning. Zoning regulations designed to preserve the aesthetic features or values of an area.

Cluster zoning. See Cluster zoning; Planned unit development.

Conditional zoning. The imposition of specific restrictions upon the landowner as a condition of full realization of the benefit of rezoning. A zoning change which permits use of particular property subject to conditions not generally applicable to land similarly zoned. Scrutton v. Sacramento County, 275 C.A.2d 412, 79 Cal.Rptr. 872, 876. See Special exception; Use.

Contract zoning. Rezoning of a property to a less restrictive zoning classification subject to an agreement by the landowner to observe certain specified limitations on the uses and physical development of the property that other properties in the zone are not required to observe. This device is used particularly in dealing with property located in a more restrictive zone but on the borderline of the less restrictive zone, for which classification the rezoning is sought.

Density zoning. Type of cluster zoning which regulates open spaces, density of population and use of land. Chrinko v. South Brunswick Township Planning Board, 77 N.J.Super. 594, 187 A.2d 221. Density zoning requires state enabling legislation. Under this device, the city council determines what percentage of a particular district must be devoted to open space and what percentage may be used for dwelling units. The task of locating in the particular district the housing and open spaces devolves upon the planning commission working in conjunction with the developer. The latter will submit a series of plans and seek approval to go forward at each stage. See also Planned unit development.

Euclidean zoning. Type of zoning based on district-anduse. It envisions the specification of determined geographic areas separated according to zoning districts with the uses permitted in each district set forth in the ordinances. Thus, a property owner could from the zoning map determine in what type of district the property was located and by reference to the district’s restrictions what uses are permitted. Village of Euclid v. Ambler Realty Co., 272 U.S. 365, 47 S.Ct. 114, 71 L.Ed. 303.

Exclusionary zoning. Type of zoning which has been challenged on the grounds that it serves to erect exclusionary walls on the municipality’s boundary according to local selfishness for socially improper goals which are beyond the legitimate purpose of zoning. The trend in the courts is to strike down such zoning.

Floating zone. In an attempt to avoid the inflexibility of mapped districts, some communities have created exceptional use districts to allow small tracts for such uses as shopping centers, garden type apartments or light industry. At time of ordinance approval the district is unlocated. See also Floating Zone.

Holding zone. A form of low density zoning employed for a temporary purpose until the community decides how to rezone the area.

Spot zoning. Changing the zoning of a particular piece of land without regard to the zoning plan for the area. See also Spot zoning.

Zoning map. The map created by a zoning ordinance which displays the various zoning districts.

Zoning variance. See Variance

That's the definition of Zoning in Black's Law Dictionary 6th Edition. Courtesy of Cekhukum.com.