What Are the Different Types of Land Zoning - Seko Construction

What Are the Different Types of Land Zoning

In construction, design-build construction and/or even in home ownership, you may encounter something called land zoning. Zoning is important in ensuring that buildings with specific purposes are restricted from certain areas or parts of town.

Otherwise, it would be easy to build a factory right in the middle of a suburban neighbourhood, if you were so inclined. There are a great many types of zoning, and it can become very nuanced.

Below, we will go into overland zoning regulations in greater detail, including the different types of land zoning types that you may encounter. 

What Is Land Zoning?

By definition, zoning is when a municipality or local government divides local land into different segments that are called zones. Each zone has its own unique set of regulations and zoning rules for new developments and structures. Some zones are strictly for one use, while other zones combine different uses.

Other zones may approve or reject developments on the basis of the density, size, and shape of the buildings.

Land use zoning is used to guide urban growth and development, and is important for keeping towns or cities set up in a way that makes sense. Without these guidelines, people could build any type of building anywhere they wanted, which may not be conducive to the local community especially residential neighborhoods. 

Types of Land Zoning

Read on for more information on some of the main types of land zoning.

Commercial Zoning

Commercial zoning is an umbrella term, and there are several more specific zones that nestle underneath this umbrella. This zoning type concerns itself with office buildings or structures that are meant for commercial use, hence the name.

The different zones within commercial zoning represent the various commercial activities that are associated with the parcel of land or with the building. Therefore, just because an area is commercially zoned, does not mean it is approved for the commercial purpose you intend.

You will need to look at the specific zoning code or number to make sure that your development would be approved. 

What Are the Different Types of Land Zoning - Seko Construction

Industrial Land Zoning

The next type of land zone is industrial zoning. Industrial land zoning refers to the zoning of land that can be used for industrial purposes, of course. This includes the purpose of manufacturing, such as manufacturing industrial products, goods, or energy.

Spaces that create products, as well as facilities that store these products or distribute them, are also included under the umbrella of industrial land zoning. Power plants or other structures that produce or refine fuel and energy can also fall under industrial land zoning.

Of course, certain types of industrial buildings cannot be built in particular areas, so it is important to look at the industrial zoning restrictions of the land you are working with.

Different Types of Land Zoning - Seko Construction

Residential Zoning

Finally, we come to residential zoning, another of the large umbrella term zones. It refers to residential areas where families live. There are plenty of more specific zones that nestle under this more basic umbrella.

The zones may be defined by density, such as the density of an apartment block or residential units versus a neighbourhood of single-family homes. Some residential zones do allow for combinations of residential building types, so you could have single-family and multi-family homes together, for instance.

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Combination Zones

As there are many types of zones, there are also some that combine more than one zone purpose. For instance, some houses can be in areas that are both residential and commercially zoned.

This can be seen in examples of people working out of their homes in a customer-facing way—perhaps a hairdresser has a salon in her home because the structure is both commercially and residentially zoned, for instance.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the different zone types in Alberta?

In Alberta, the different zone types for land are many. In fact, there are 19 different public-use land zones in Alberta! However, some of the more basic and general land use zones are inner cities, suburbs, and rural-urban fringe.

A parcel of land needs to be properly zoned for the purpose you intend it for. You cannot construct a commercial structure on residentially zoned land, for instance.

What are the different zone types in British Columbia?

Zoning laws are often determined by the local government, so there can be different zones depending upon the city or town of British Columbia in which you live. For instance, the general kinds of residential zones in this province include single-family, multi-family, and duplex zone options.

There are also different zone types within the umbrellas of commercial or industrial use. It is important to be aware of the zoning of a piece of land, especially if you plan to build on it, because you cannot build certain types of structures in certain types of land zones based on zoning bylaws. 

What is R3 Zoning?

If you are looking into the zoning of an area, you may have come across different codes such as R1, R2, or R3 zoning. In order to understand the zoning of this area, you need to know what this code means!

  • R1 and R2 are residential zones. R1 is a single-unit zoning district, while R2 is a zone that permits all types of housing. The primary difference between these three types of zones is their density.
  • R2 is a medium-density zone, while R3 is even denser, and R1 is the least dense of these zone options.
  • R3 zoning is a multi-family residential zone.

How do I find the zoning of my property?

If you own an existing property, or a parcel of land that you may want to build on, it is important that you know how this property and land is zoned. Luckily, it is not difficult to figure out!

You can use your city website—such as the City of Edmonton maps website if that is where you are located—and enter the address of your property or your land parcel.

Zoning will come up with the other general information you pull on the property with this website. Then, you can use that knowledge as you need.