For architects, property developers, property investors, and town planners–amongst others–understanding zoning is essential. Without such knowledge, you are more likely to make some costly errors. As each area, state, or territory may vary somewhat in their rules, there’s no better time to get up to speed with the various aspects of zoning.

What Is Zoning?

Zoning is a legal framework that sets out what areas can and cannot be used for in its most basic form. Zoning is a set of strict building rules that apply to individual areas depending on their location and intended use. Local councils will define the parameters of the respective zones. These parameters will cover building use, maximum building height, and population density.

What Are the Various Aspects of Zoning?

Local councils and municipalities will build a set of zoning rules designed to optimise land use while ensuring that its residents and businesses remain satisfied with their surroundings. At the same time, the area can also develop and grow to the benefit of its occupants. It forms an essential part of town planning. Local governments and state governments typically have their own rules and regulations about their individual areas.

Primary zoning rules are broken down into what land can be used for, such as:

  • Residential
  • Commercial
  • Industrial
  • Agricultural
  • Mixed-use
  • Public use

More specific aspects of zoning include:

  • Lot size
  • Density or bulk
  • Building height
  • Floor area ratio (FAR)
  • Incompatible land uses are separate from one another
  • Limitations on building in flood plains, wetlands, and fire-prone areas
  • The preservation of historical and heritage sites
  • The subdivision of land
  • The construction of new buildings
  • The surrounding properties

Why Do You Need To Understand Zoning?

When planning your property development, it is essential to avoid building the wrong property type in an area that is zoned for another use entirely. Land zoning is a legal framework, and as such, there will be legal implications for defying such regulations.

If you know the zoning specifics within the area you wish to build, you can maximise the use of your property. Some sites are set aside for mixed-use, which means that the property can be used for more than one purpose, thus maximising your potential profit regardless of whether you choose to sell or rent the finished property.

In the end, not understanding zoning could see you could either leaving money on the table, incurring massive expenses by setting your project timeline back, or even having to halt your project indefinitely.

Individuals and industries that need to understand land zoning include:

  • Architects
  • Property developers
  • Property investors
  • Town planners
  • Real estate agents
  • Homebuilders
  • Small businesses

Zoning Software

Various software packages are used for property development which aids those in the property industry searching for the right property site. Among those packages is the Archistar platform; this powerful tool helps design and find sites using aerial views and enables you to find locations based on your zoning requirements. With Australia’s largest zoning database, your project is much easier to pursue.

Now, with a better grasp of zoning, you can maximise your profits and get your property project started without worrying about any zoning surprises.