Zoning controls how land is used and limits the size of structures. It is supposed to protect property owners by avoiding conflicting use of land, such as the construction of factories next to homes.
Each local government decides upon the zoning for land within its borders.
Changes in zoning can dramatically affect property values. A rezoning that allows an office tower to be built where houses once stood can increase land prices tenfold. Smaller changes, such as permitting a three-story building instead of a two- story building, can make the difference between a profit and a loss to a developer.