A closer look at the purpose of zoning laws

When people are interested in building a new establishment in New York, they cannot simply buy a plot of land and build whatever they want. The restrictions they will face are because of laws called zoning requirements. These rules and regulations are enforced to make sure that land is used for an appropriate purpose given its location, the surrounding establishments and who will be utilizing whatever is built on that land. 

Without zoning laws, there would be an incredible lack of organization and safety which could greatly impede a city's growth, the wellbeing of its citizens, the ability to attract new economic growth and potential to thrive. According to the New York City Department of City Planning, the primary factors of the Zoning Resolution are as follows:

  • The building's height.
  • The building's size.
  • The building's setback and positioning.
  • The building's shape. 

Property Metrics suggests additional benefits of properly implemented and enforced zoning laws including that it can help elevate the enjoyment of people who dwell or work in and around the building that is being constructed. It can also aid in strengthening the value of other buildings that are immediately surrounding the new building and contribute to an organized pattern of city growth. Another critical concept of zoning law is verifying that there are adequate resources available to sustain the use of the building including sewer, roadways to and from the establishment and utilities like water and electricity. People or companies who are found in violation of zoning requirements can face a series of legal consequences including fines and even being asked to take down or remove whatever it was that was constructed.  

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