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Thread: How do you define spot zoning?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian CDT's avatar
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    How do you define spot zoning?

    I have a change of zone application, which we send to nearby jurisdictions and let them comment. One of my nearby jurisdictions is alleging that the application is spot zoning. I don't agree and wondered what was your opinion, great giver of opinions!

    This is a heavy business/industrial area. We have a few zoning districts that are similar. general business, heavy general business, highway business, light industry and heavy industry. They all fit into a classification in my land use plan called business park. So I have been looking at them based on location, abutting uses and your general consideration for change of zone applications. They want to change from light industry to heavy general business. The differences in the two districts are pretty minor. surrounding districts are LI, but further off there is a mix of heavy business and highway business.

    Would you call this spot zoning?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
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    Spot zoning is a legal term. Every state I have worked has a court determination of what it means (and each is different). Your situation, IMO, does not rise to spot zoning. You may have too many districts, however.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by mike gurnee View post
    Spot zoning is a legal term. Every state I have worked has a court determination of what it means (and each is different). Your situation, IMO, does not rise to spot zoning. You may have too many districts, however.
    I agree. Check your state's compiled statutes on how this term is defined and interpreted.

    I think there would need to be significant differences between the zoning districts in this scenario to be considered a form of spot zoning (and even then there are many different factors that would help define spot zoning). The textbook example is usually converting a parcel or a few parcels from single-family zoning to commercial zoning in order to attract business. However, in the textbook case the zoning districts are incompatible with each other.

    Did you start this change of zone application or is this from a petitioner?
    "This is great, honey. What's the crunchy stuff?"
    "M&Ms. I ran out of paprika."

    Family Guy

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Streck's avatar
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    Wikipedia has a good summary of Spot Zoning:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spot_zoning

    Also see the link at that site to Contract Zoning.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian CDT's avatar
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    I agree that I did not think this was really spot zoning. My experience to date has been the residential converted to commercial scenario. I agree we have too many districts.

    I inhereted a really crappy zoning regulation that I will update after we update the xomp plan in 2011.

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