Zoning is the local regulation of land use, and at its most basic can be thought of as what can go where. Typically a zoning bylaw has districts that range from highly developed to those with very little permittable development. Zoning lays out allowable uses in each district, as well as standards for such uses. Such standards often describe lot size, setbacks from lot lines, height limits, and may even regulate lot coverage. Newer bylaws may use ‘form-based’ language that focuses more on the look and feel and less on the actual type of use. Towns with developed cores may use design or historic review in their bylaws to regulate the appearance of structures. Bylaws not only prohibit uses, but may incentivize some kinds of development through density bonuses or waivers that lessen requirements.
TRORC staff have extensive experience working with communities to develop zoning bylaws which will help a community implement the goals and policies of their town plan while allowing residents the freedom to develop their property. We can assist your community administering their bylaws through providing technical advice and we will write bylaws under contract. Having quality zoning is the best way for communities to determine the future of their built environment.