There is a lot to consider when studying Zoning, and this is my first post of many on the subject, because it will become a topic of major discussion in real estate circles over the next few years.
 
In the Real Estate Principles books and curriculum I have studied and taught going back to 1979, Zoning is considered an “Encumbrance,” authorized through the use of Police Power.
 
An Encumbrance is anything which burdens the title to real property. A claim or restriction, affecting or limiting title.
 
Police power is defined in each jurisdiction by the legislative body, which determines the public purposes that need to be served by legislation. Under the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, the powers not delegated to the Federal Government are reserved to the states or to the people.
 
This is an important point:
 
Zoning allows the government the right to place (or remove) limitations upon private property rights, and, unlike “Eminent Domain,” no compensation is paid when the government abridges one’s private property rights through a zoning change.
 
Zoning isn’t always about restrictions, sometimes it can allow changes that allow for greater land use, more utility…utility being one of the Four Elements of Value (Demand/Utility/Scarcity/Transferability)/
 
Next Post on Zoning:
 
How long has zoning been with us, and what was its original purpose?