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Understanding Zoning Codes

Zoning is a planning tool that is used by local governments to systematically and evenly develop cities. This urban planning method specifies the kind of construction that is allowed in a particular area depending on the development plans. It typically segregates areas into residential, commercial, industrial, recreational, and other zones.

The Four Basic Types of Zoning Codes

Zoning codes have changed and evolved over the years and are adopted by most developed countries as a way to regulate and manage land use in a systematic way. There are pre-dominantly four zoning codes that are used when developing property in the State of Missouri, and they are as follows:

1. Euclidean Zoning – This is the most traditional form of zoning. It is named after a town in Ohio called Euclid because of a landmark judgment passed by the United States Supreme Court on a zoning codes case that affected the nature of such ordinances throughout the country.

This kind of zoning basically comprises classifications for land use and standards for dimensions of constructions. Usual classifications are single-family residential, multi-family residential, commercial, institutional, industrial, and recreational. The aspect related to dimensions regulates the height, weight, and area of constructions.

The objective of Euclidean zoning codes is to enable systematic development through avoidance of overcrowding of constructions and people, eliminating congestion, and segregating contrary uses. For example, such zoning codes will not allow a manufacturing unit to be constricted near a residential area.

A lot of modern planners find this type of zoning code obsolete and rigid as it can be restrictive to developers.

2. Form-Based Codes – Zoning codes that are form-based give importance to the form and scale of the buildings and their location and interaction with other public spaces. The objective of most of the form-based zoning codes is to prevent urban sprawl, while emphasizing pedestrian safety and preserving, cherishing, and maintaining historically important structures. This is a dynamic kind of zoning process that takes into consideration things like walking paths, street trees, street furniture, and fixtures.

3. Incentive Zoning – Zoning codes that are incentive based give rewards to property developers to do something positive and advantageous for the community as a whole. The rewards are usually a grant for increased density in exchange for things like more open spaces, affordable housing facilities for people, etc. It offers a great deal of flexibility, but is a complex process that is difficult to manage.

4. Performance Zoning – The objective of such zoning codes is to remove or decrease contrary and conflicting land uses. This is done by limiting the performance standards that are related to traffic, density, light, air, etc. Construction can take place as long as these standards are met.

Looking for Lawyers to help with Zoning Codes & Related Issues in Missouri?

Zoning Codes & Zoning Laws in Missouri

All of these zoning codes can be complex and difficult to understand if you are inexperienced in the area. When faced with issues pertaining to zoning codes, it is often recommended to work with experienced attorneys who understand the laws and how these codes are applied.

The Wallach Firm in St. Louis has a team of lawyers who are expert in matters related to land use and zoning codes. We have been providing legal services to clients throughout Missouri since 1970. We assist people in combating unfair zoning regulations that cause excessive hardships on property owners. We are experts in a variety of issues, including acquiring rezoning, conditional use, and other allowances or variances.

To learn more about our legal services available to clients throughout the state of Missouri or for a review of your case, contact our zoning and eminent domain lawyers today.

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