Most common zoning types

On Behalf of | May 29, 2023 | Real Estate

In real estate, “zoning” refers to the division of land by the purposes for which it can be used. Zoning aims to promote orderly community development, protect property values and better ensure public safety.

While there are many different types of zoning, here are five of the most common you find when you’re exploring real estate options.

Residential zones

Residential zoning is probably the most familiar to people. It designates areas for residential use, including single-family homes, multi-family dwellings, townhouses and apartment complexes. Residential zones often have restrictions on everything from building heights to what animals you can keep on the property. They may or may not even allow for home-based businesses, and can be highly localized.

Commercial zones

Commercial zoning is used for areas designated for business activities, including retail stores, shopping plazas, offices, hotels, restaurants and entertainment venues. Commercial zones often have specific regulations related to building size, parking requirements, signage, the types of businesses permitted and hours of operation to balance the needs of businesses with the surrounding community.

Industrial zones

Industrial zoning is designated for areas intended for warehouses and manufacturing plants.

They often have vastly different rules about building sizes, setbacks from residential areas, noise pollution and transportation access than you find in other property zones.

Agricultural zones

Agricultural and rural zoning is used to designate areas primarily for farming activities. These zones typically have restrictions on residential and commercial development to protect natural resources and maintain the rural quality of the open spaces.

Mixed-use zones

Mixed-use zoning allows for a combination of different land uses within the same area, promoting a blend of residential, commercial (and sometimes industrial) development. Because they are so flexible, mixed-use zones encourage walkability and reduce commute times by providing opportunities for residents to live, work and access everything they regularly need in one small neighborhood or area.

It’s important to note that there are more types of zoning out there, such as historic zoning and special districts, even if they’re less common. Because zoning issues can be complicated, it’s always wisest to invest in experienced legal guidance concerning your real estate transaction so that you fully understand how the zoning could affect your future plans.

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