Zoning 101

  • What is zoning?

    A zoning code, which can also be referred to as a zoning ordinance or zoning regulations, is set of laws used as a tool to govern physical development within a municipality and the processes by which new development can be approved. Zoning sets forth the standards that must be met and processes that must be followed in order to develop a parcel of land. Zoning codes can include regulations on uses, building size, yard size, open space, density of development, and signs, among other things. A zoning map always accompanies a zoning code. The zoning map identifies the location of the various zoning districts that are in a municipality’s zoning code. A zoning district is a designated area or district in a municipality within which specific regulations and requirements uniformly govern the use, placement, spacing, and size of land and buildings. For example, in the Town of Southold, “R-40” is a residential zoning district. “R-80” is also a residential district, but with different standards. 

  • Why is it important to keep a zoning code updated?

    At the most fundamental level, the zoning code should be updated to reflect the community’s current visions and goals, which should be embodied in a recent comprehensive plan. Furthermore, the zoning code should reflect contemporary trends in commercial enterprises and residential types and best practices in stormwater management and other aspects of development and preservation. Another reason to update a zoning code is that, over time as a code is amended, it can become more difficult to navigate. It may need to be restructured to be simplified and to address inconsistent or conflicting code elements. 

  • How can I find Southold’s Zoning code?

    The Town’s zoning code is located at https://ecode360.com/5161767

  • How can I determine which zoning district applies to my property? 

    The Town’s website has an online Zoning Map & Tax Parcel Inquiry. Visit this link. Begin typing in your address in the box on the top left of the page and, when your address shows up, click the left button on your mouse. Parcel boundaries are displayed as yellow lines. Zoning district boundaries are labeled and displayed as red lines.

  • How can I see the Town’s official zoning maps?

    The Town’s official zoning maps are integrated into a web-based digital map that can be accessed from this link.

Other Zoning Resources

The following video, titled "Zoning 101: What is Zoning," was produced by Richland County, SC. It is being provided as a courtesy to further help explain the fundamentals of zoning. The video is just over 3 minutes long.