Spot zoning is one kind of zoning variance.
It is the process of singling out a plot of land or building within a larger zoned area for a different type of use.
For example, a commercial building, park, or school might be granted within a strictly residential area, as surrounding residents may benefit from it.
Spot zoning is not always popular. In some cases, it is found illegal as it is not compatible with the comprehensive zoning plan for that community and is against the public interest.
Spot zoning may be pre-planned or might be granted by the planning commission or local planning agency under zoning laws and ordinances followed by the landowner’s petition for rezoning.
Examples of Spot zoning
An ideal example of spot zoning is having a commercial building inside a residential block. That is if you rezone a residential lot into a commercial designation which is situated in the middle of a subdivision; it’s a spot zoning.
What is spot zoning in Real estate?
Spot zoning in real estate is when a parcel of land within a residential subdivision is zoned for non-residential use.
This can cause problems because residents of that particular area may want the area to be allocated for residential use only.
However, if the intention of that real estate rezoning is to establish a park or school, there may not be much opposition as these amenities would be useful to residents.
Is Spot zoning bad?
Spot zoning is bad, in one sense. But it’s a difficult question to conclude in a sentence.
Sure, it’s unfair. As it advantages the owner of that particular land. Moreover, it disrupts the natural mobility of the whole area.
Is Spot zoning legal or illegal?
Primarily, Spot zoning is legal. Rather I would say it is “legitimate”, as it is approved by local zoning and planning authority following a land owner’s application.
Sometimes, authority itself rezone a parcel or block of land for the greater public interest; if they think it’s necessary.