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What are zoning laws and why is my property use restricted?

As individuals travel through Hennepin County they may notice a pattern to how the area is laid out. Houses cluster together in residential housing developments and businesses flank each other in commercial districts. Like buildings seem to be close together and this similarity of development is not the result of coincidence. The municipal regulation of land use and zoning dictates what types of buildings can be built in different areas of a community.

There are a variety of different types of zoning. Residential zoning laws outline what homes can be constructed in a particular location. Some zoning regulations require that only single family homes be built while others permit multifamily residences. Zoning in residential areas can also limit the types of home-based businesses people run out of their houses.

Commercial zoning generally does not permit residential development within its borders. Businesses can open in these zones and can be restricted as to their size and appearance. Some commercial zones allow for mixed use buildings which can have both commercial and residential spaces within their structures.

Other types of zones include but are not limited to agricultural zones, industrial zones and rural zones. Zoning has become a common practice throughout communities in America because it helps maintain property values. For example, many individuals would not want to buy houses next to waste treatment facilities or loud businesses; zoning helps keep similar buildings together.

There are instances when zoning laws conflict with the intended uses people have for their properties. Though it is not always possible to override a particular zoning regulation, in some special cases a person can receive special permission through a permit to use his property for an extraneous purpose. Lawyers who work in the land use field can provide their clients with more information on this particular topic.