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Zoning
Zoning is a method of urban planning in which a municipality or other tier of government divides land into areas called zones, each of which has a set of regulations for new development that differs from other zones. Zones may be defined for a single use (e.g. residential, industrial), they may combine several compatible activities by use, or in the case of form-based zoning, the differing regulations may govern the density, size and shape of allowed buildings whatever their use. The planning rules for each zone determine whether planning permission for a given development may be granted. Zoning may specify a variety of outright and conditional uses of land. It may indicate the size and dimensions of lots that land may be subdivided into, or the form and scale of buildings. These guidelines are set in order to guide urban growth and development. Zoning is the most common regulatory urban planning method used by local governments in developed countries. Exceptions include the Un ...
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Single-family Zoning
Single-family zoning is a type of planning restriction applied to certain residential zones in the United States and Canada in order to restrict development to only allow single-family detached homes. It disallows townhomes, duplexes, and multi-family housing (apartments) from being built on any plot of land with this zoning designation. It is a form of exclusionary zoning, and was created as a way to keep minorities out of white neighborhoods. It both increases the cost of housing units and decreases the supply. In many United States cities, 75% of land zoned for residential uses is zoned single-family. Recently, many cities across the nation have started looking at reforming their land-use regulations, particularly single-family zoning, in attempts to solve their housing shortages and reduce the racial inequities which arise from housing segregation. These upzoning efforts would not require that new housing types be built in a neighborhood, it merely allows for flexibility in ...
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Residential Segregation In The United States
Residential segregation in the United States is the physical separation of two or more groups into different neighborhoods—a form of segregation that "sorts population groups into various neighborhood contexts and shapes the living environment at the neighborhood level".Kawachi, Ichiro and Lisa F. Berkman. Neighborhoods and Health. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003. page 265 While it has traditionally been associated with racial segregation, it generally refers to the separation of populations based on some criteria (e.g. race, ethnicity, income/class).Eric M. Uslaner, "Producing and Consuming Trust". Political Science Quarterly, Vol. 115, No. 4 (Winter, 2000-2001), pp. 569-590 While overt segregation is illegal in the United States, housing patterns show significant and persistent segregation along racial and class lines. The history of American social and public policies, like Jim Crow laws and the Federal Housing Administration's early redlining policies, set the tone for ...
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Houston
Houston (; ) is the most populous city in Texas, the most populous city in the Southern United States, the fourth-most populous city in the United States, and the sixth-most populous city in North America, with a population of 2,304,580 in 2020. Located in Southeast Texas near Galveston Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, it is the seat and largest city of Harris County and the principal city of the Greater Houston metropolitan area, which is the fifth-most populous metropolitan statistical area in the United States and the second-most populous in Texas after Dallas–Fort Worth. Houston is the southeast anchor of the greater megaregion known as the Texas Triangle. Comprising a land area of , Houston is the ninth-most expansive city in the United States (including consolidated city-counties). It is the largest city in the United States by total area whose government is not consolidated with a county, parish, or borough. Though primarily in Harris County, small portions of the ...
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Variance (land Use)
A variance is a deviation from the set of rules a municipality applies to land use and land development, typically a zoning ordinance, building code or municipal code. The manner in which variances are employed can differ greatly depending on the municipality. A variance may also be known as a standards variance, referring to the ''development standards'' contained in code. A variance is often granted by a Board or Committee of adjustment. Description A variance is an administrative exception to land use regulations. The use and application of variances can differ considerably throughout the great number of municipalities worldwide that regulate land use on this model. The issuance of variances may be very common, or nearly unheard-of in a given municipality. This can depend on a municipality's regulations, built environment and development pattern, and even political climate. One city may view variances as a routine matter, while another city may see variances as highly unusual ...
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Urban Planning
Urban planning, also known as town planning, city planning, regional planning, or rural planning, is a technical and political process that is focused on the development and design of land use and the built environment, including air, water, and the infrastructure passing into and out of urban areas, such as transportation, communications, and distribution networks and their accessibility. Traditionally, urban planning followed a top-down approach in master planning the physical layout of human settlements. The primary concern was the public welfare, which included considerations of efficiency, sanitation, protection and use of the environment, as well as effects of the master plans on the social and economic activities. Over time, urban planning has adopted a focus on the social and environmental bottom-lines that focus on planning as a tool to improve the health and well-being of people while maintaining sustainability standards. Sustainable development was added as one of th ...
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Agricultural Zoning
Agricultural zoning is a land management tool that refers to local zoning designations made by local jurisdictions that are intended to protect farmland and farming activities from incompatible land uses. Agricultural zoning can specify many factors, such as the uses allowed, minimum lot size, the number of nonfarm dwellings allowed, or the size of a buffer separating farm and nonfarm properties. Some jurisdictions further subdivide agricultural zones to distinguish industrial farming from uses like rural residence farms and retirement farms on large lots. One example of such zoning is the Agricultural Reserve in Montgomery County, Maryland. The reserve was established in 1980 to preserve farmland and rural space. See also * Farmland protection *Zoning in the United States Zoning in the United States includes various land use laws falling under the police power rights of state governments and local governments to exercise authority over privately owned real property. Zoning l ...
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Residential Area
A residential area is a land used in which housing predominates, as opposed to industrial and commercial areas. Housing may vary significantly between, and through, residential areas. These include single-family housing, multi-family residential, or mobile homes. Zoning for residential use may permit some services or work opportunities or may totally exclude business and industry. It may permit high density land use or only permit low density uses. Residential zoning usually includes a smaller FAR (floor area ratio) than business, commercial or industrial/manufacturing zoning. The area may be large or small. Overview In certain residential areas, especially rural, large tracts of land may have no services whatever, such that residents seeking services must use a motor vehicle or other transportation, so the need for transportation has resulted in land development following existing or planned transport infrastructure such as rail and road. Development patterns may be r ...
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Land Lot
In real estate, a lot or plot is a tract or parcel of land owned or meant to be owned by some owner(s). A plot is essentially considered a parcel of real property in some countries or immovable property (meaning practically the same thing) in other countries. Possible owner(s) of a plot can be one or more person(s) or another legal entity, such as a company/ corporation, organization, government, or trust. A common form of ownership of a plot is called fee simple in some countries. A small area of land that is empty except for a paved surface or similar improvement, typically all used for the same purpose or in the same state is also often called a plot. Examples are a paved car park or a cultivated garden plot. This article covers plots (more commonly called lots in some countries) as defined parcels of land meant to be owned as units by an owner(s). Like most other types of property, lots or plots owned by private parties are subject to a periodic property tax payable by the ...
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Lot (real Estate)
In real estate, a lot or plot is a tract or parcel of land owned or meant to be owned by some owner(s). A plot is essentially considered a parcel of real property in some countries or immovable property (meaning practically the same thing) in other countries. Possible owner(s) of a plot can be one or more person(s) or another legal entity, such as a company/corporation, organization, government, or trust. A common form of ownership of a plot is called fee simple in some countries. A small area of land that is empty except for a paved surface or similar improvement, typically all used for the same purpose or in the same state is also often called a plot. Examples are a paved car park or a cultivated garden plot. This article covers plots (more commonly called lots in some countries) as defined parcels of land meant to be owned as units by an owner(s). Like most other types of property, lots or plots owned by private parties are subject to a periodic property tax payable by the ...
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Setback (land Use)
In land use, a setback is the minimum distance which a building or other structure must be set back from a street or road, a river or other stream, a shore or flood plain, or any other place which is deemed to need protection. Depending on the jurisdiction, other things like fences, landscaping, septic tanks, and various potential hazards or nuisances might be regulated and prohibited by setback lines. Setbacks along state, provincial, or federal highways may also be set in the laws of the state or province, or the federal government. Local governments create setbacks through ordinances, zoning restrictions, and Building Codes, usually for reasons of public policy such as safety, privacy, and environmental protection. Neighborhood developers may create setback lines (usually defined in Covenants & Restrictions, and set forth in official neighborhood maps) to ensure uniform appearance in the neighborhood and prevent houses from crowding adjacent structures or streets. In some cases, ...
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Commercial Area
Commercial areas in a city are areas, districts, or neighborhoods primarily composed of commercial buildings, such as a strip mall, office parks, downtown, central business district, financial district, " Main Street", or shopping centers. Commercial activity within cities includes the buying and selling of goods and services in retail businesses, wholesale buying and selling, financial establishments, and a wide variety of uses that are broadly classified as "business." While commercial activities typically take up a relatively small amount of land, they are extremely important to a community's economy. They provide employment, facilitate the circulation of money, and often serve many other roles important to the community, such as public gathering and cultural events. A commercial area is real estate intended for use by for-profit businesses, such as office complexes, shopping malls, service stations, bars and restaurants. It may be purchased outright by a developer for futur ...
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Impervious Surface
Impervious surfaces are mainly artificial structures—such as pavements (roads, sidewalks, driveways and parking lots, as well as industrial areas such as airports, ports and logistics and distribution centres, all of which use considerable paved areas) that are covered by water-resistant materials such as asphalt, concrete, brick, stone—and rooftops. Soils compacted by urban development are also highly impervious. Environmental effects Impervious surfaces are an environmental concern because their construction initiates a chain of events that modifies urban air and water resources: * The pavement materials seal the soil surface, eliminating rainwater infiltration and natural groundwater recharge. An article in the ''Seattle Times'' states that "while urban areas cover only 3 percent of the U.S., it is estimated that their runoff is the primary source of pollution in 13 percent of rivers, 18 percent of lakes and 32 percent of estuaries." :Some of these pollutants inclu ...
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