Definition of Zoning Bylaw

A zoning bylaw is a specific urban planning rule that dictates what is and is not allowed on a property within a specific zone. A zone is determined by an overall city plan that designates specific areas of a city or county for specific types of use.

Why is this term important?

This is to ensure that residential areas are not disturbed by potentially harmful or noisy commercial businesses during day-to-day living. Zoning is also created in order to protect land value, as certain businesses or enterprises will help devalue land. By creating zones, city planning departments can ensure that these zones are created away from residential land areas, where homeowners would prefer to see stable or appreciating land values.

Examples of term

Business centres and commercial strip malls are only allowed in certain parts of the city, due to zoning bylaws. Another example is that not all residential homes may house a home-based, client-facing business, such as a hairdressing salon or a dog-grooming business. These restrictions are based on zoning bylaws.