A discussion of the purpose of zoning laws

| Oct 3, 2018 | land use & zoning

Individuals are asked to consider this scenario: during the early hours of a Florida morning, a reader of this real property legal blog is in bed and enjoying their last few moments of peace before getting up and facing the day. Suddenly, the reader is confronted with loud noises and bright headlights as massive trucks move into work at the industrial site right next door. This occurrence is noisy, disruptive, and unfortunately common as the reader’s home was built adjacent to an active industrial complex.

Why would this happen? Well, without zoning laws it could happen often and everywhere. Zoning laws are in place to keep similarly operating buildings together, such as homes with other homes and businesses with other businesses. Zoning laws limit what types of structures may be built in certain locations and prevent diverse and potentially disruptive entities from operating in the same physical spaces.

Zoning laws often break up cities and municipalities into several different zones. For example, there may be residential zones for homes and multifamily developments. There may be commercial zones where stores, shops, and restaurants are permitted to be built and operate. There may also be industrial zones where heavy trucks and operations are used far and away from where people live.

Zoning is intended to help all cities and towns to grow and to allow their residents to understand the plan on which development will proceed. Challenges to zoning laws can be undertaken and from time to time zoning regulations may be changed to accommodate new projects. Additional inquiries about zoning in particular communities should be brought to the attention of Florida land use and property attorneys.