What is zoning?

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Zoning is practice for urban or city planning wherein several areas of land are divided, segregated, or classified according to its permitted use.  The basic concept of zoning regulates the type of structures, buildings, or activities that can be done in a particular area or piece of land.  Cities and municipalities across the globe for example may employ zoning to determine how each zone or section may be utilized.

In most cities and towns, zoning is implemented to designated areas in terms of  function and purpose.  Residential zones for example are created to specifically allow only homes and apartments in a specific area of land.  Other zones may also be created for other structures and activities like zones for businesses and retail stores.  Zones may also be created for manufacturing plants and huge warehouses. Specific zones may also be created for agricultural purposes, and for export product processing among many others.  In most cases, zoning is important in the sense that not all activities and areas are compatible with each other when placed side by side.  Residential zones for example need to be far away from manufacturing plants for example to limit the noise and air pollution for local residents.  There are also areas that are more suitable for certain activities and buildings.  In the case of flight paths for plane takeoffs and landings in city airports, nearby areas may need to be classified as low building zones only.  High rises and tall structures may not be built near the airport in this type of zoning.

Zoning in towns and cities may also be done to protect existing structures and buildings.  Certain towns for example want to retain the old or original look and feel of certain landmarks and buildings.  New structures will then be built based on the zoning laws and ordinances.  Other than function and practicality, some structures and activities may only be done specified zones in order not to disrupt the existing structures on a certain town or city.

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