If you are interested in purchasing property, it’s important to know the zoning in the area. You wouldn’t want to purchase a property zoned for business if you want to live there, just as you won’t want to buy a residential property for a business.

There are many zones, but the two primary groups are residential and commercial. Here’s a little more about them:

What is a zoning ordinance?

A zoning ordinance is how you divide certain parts of land into zones or districts based on the uses the land may be used for. For example, commercial zoning means that the land is available for commercial use. Residential zoning is for residential purposes.

Can zoning be changed?

Yes, but changes to zoning can become stressful to those who own the properties or who wish to purchase the properties. An ordinance, for example, could change a once-commercial zone into a residential zone to allow for more residential properties to be built. A new business could ask to open in residential areas by asking for a variance to show that their presence won’t harm the area in any way.

Why are there zoning laws?

Zoning is important, because it helps preserve a specific aesthetic in an area. For instance, if you wish for the entire downtown to be only businesses for a square mile, then you would commercially zone the area to preserve that preference. Likewise, areas where a municipality wants family homes will fall under residential zones, where businesses are often not allowed to open. There are mixed zones and zones that apply to others, like those in agriculture, but on the whole, they’re divided into commercial and residential areas.

Source: Investopedia, “Zoning Ordinance,” accessed June 07, 2018