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Zoning Ordinance

A zoning ordinance is the formal codification of land use policies for a city, district, county, or other unit of government. The goal of a zoning ordinance is to establish permitted uses for land covered by the ordinance, and to distinguish between different types of uses which may be incompatible. In addition to defining specific types of land use, zoning ordinances also usually divide a region into "zones" where certain types of permitted use can occur, which explains the name.

Historically, once people bought land, they were largely allowed to do whatever they wanted with it. Someone could build a house, start a junkyard , start a factory, or utilize an area for farming. Over time, cities began to put building restrictions in place for the purpose of protecting public safety.

When a zoning ordinance is formulated, it reflects the fact that people find certain types of activities conflicting. For example, a factory would not be a welcome addition to a residential neighborhood; Zoning ordinances are designed to separate out different types of use to prevent conflict.

The code is under review and revision. For any questions please contact the planning office