Positive and negative impact of Zoning

Zoning is actually the process by which the local municipality decides to regulate land development and categorizes each land as part of a particular zoning area. Essentially, should you seek to purchase a property in a zoning area, and then you are required by law to comply with the current regulations as they apply in that particular area? While at the outset this may seem like an invasion of privacy, zoning and zoning laws are required to protect the residents and the neighborhood in particular. Please note that the zoning laws as they pertain to the various classifications can vary from one state to another so you are required to research online and familiarize yourself with the latest zoning laws as they are applicable in your area. It’s time to take a closer look at some of the positive and negative effects of zoning.

Positive and negative impact of Zoning

The positive impact of zoning:

  • Protection: Once a neighborhood is classified as residential, only residential buildings are permitted in the area. This can help protect the local area from unmitigated commercial activities; for example, your neighbor cannot set up a cabaret bar next door as it would be against the various zoning laws. In short, he would not be allowed to set up a commercial establishment unless he receives an exemption for which he would have to apply months in advance.
  • Property value: It is a known fact that properties that fall under zoning laws often have enhanced value as a result of the same. But before purchasing the property, you may want to check out the various zoning laws as they apply to that particular area and then take an informed decision on the same.
  • Community: Zoning can help create a vibrant community and even help bring them together. You can organize and even take part in several communal events; this should help you interact better with others and even get to know them better.
  • Recreational and open spaces: With active zoning laws in effect, all recreational spaces and even open areas are better protected. Thanks to various zoning laws in effect, you should be able to enjoy fresh air and utilize the open areas to good effect.

The negative impact of zoning:

  • Loss of rights: With zoning laws in place, this generally means that you no longer have the right to install a swimming pool in your front yard or carry out the required modifications as required, above the garage. Essentially, you need to run everything by the local municipality and get it approved prior to getting the modifications done.
  • Loss of development: Zoning can actually prevent you from developing your property as you’d want – but please remember that zoning laws differ from one state to the other, never mind the country. So you need to check out your local zoning laws and regulations and see if you need to apply for permission prior to any development taking place.
  • Cost: remodeling in a zoning area can cost you big; once you have gotten your plans approved, developing or remodeling in the zoning area can cost you more in terms of prices as well as trying to ensure that the residence matches all the other residences in the neighborhood.
  • Integration: The municipality may require that you remodel your home to make sure that it fits in with the rest.

These are some of the positive and negative effects of zoning; zoning laws were established to protect the neighborhood so that it could be utilized for the purpose it was categorized. This was also done mainly to protect historical buildings and structures, especially in towns like Massachusetts, which was home to several iconic historical buildings and to prevent the same from being torn down to make way for some modern structure. You could argue that one of the real intent of zoning laws and regulations is to ensure that the property is utilized for the purpose its meant for – but this protection is not free and comes with its own pound of flesh in the sense that you would have to forfeit some of your rights as long as you reside in these areas. You would be required to comply with all the current zoning laws which is why you need to carefully review the same before you purchase any property.

Travis King
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