Basic zoning laws in the United States include laws that outline the requirements to the types of buildings allowed in certain areas and the setbacks from the streets as to where these buildings can be placed, Find Law explains. Size and heights of buildings are also commonly regulated.
Zoning laws are established to divide a municipality into certain use districts, include commercial, industrial and residential. These districts are separated from each other, and the use of the property in the districts is regulated accordingly, says Find Law.
Municipalities usually establish a planning process that results in a master or comprehensive plan in order to regulate subdivision requirements, public facility plans and building regulations. This allows future developers to plan around the master or comprehensive plan previously put in place, explains Find Law.
Zoning laws should be reasonable and promote the good and well-being of an entire community. Many municipalities have created zoning status that allow for the creation and implementation of a zoning board of appeals in order to conduct hearings when residents or builders are contesting certain zoning requirements. These boards are quasi-judicial bodies that include sworn testimony by witnesses and are subject to court review, reports Find Law.