DEFINITION of 'Zoning Ordinance'

Written regulations and laws that define how property in specific geographic zones can be used. Zoning ordinances specify whether zones can be used for residential or commercial purposes, and may also regulate lot size, placement, bulk (or density) and the height of structures. Zoning ordinances are lengthy documents describing not only the acceptable use for specified areas of land, but also the procedures for handling infractions (including any penalties), granting variances and hearing appeals.

BREAKING DOWN 'Zoning Ordinance'

Zoning consists of dividing a particular region of land into districts or zones and specifying the types of land uses that are allowed and prohibited for each zone. This is performed by a municipal corporation or county and is typically specific to certain city regions. Zoning, in its basic form, attempts to separate residential property use from commercial property use.

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