Community Control Through Aesthetic Zoning

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Written by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer Jeffrey Johnson

UPDATED: Jul 16, 2021

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Aesthetic zoning is the process of zoning a specific area to create a certain aesthetic look. Local zoning regulations are used to focus on the beauty of the community within its jurisdiction. The aesthetic zoning regulations are limited in nature, and must follow various guidelines designed to improve the appearance of the area and create a cohesive look.

Living With Aesthetic Zoning Regulations 

Living within an aesthetic zoning area means that any changes to the property must be approved by the zoning board. Plans must be submitted before any work can go forward to ensure meeting all zoning regulations, and any developments that do not meet the requirements can lead to fines and required remodeling. Disputes sometimes occur when the homeowner is not pleased with the local zoning regulations or limitations imposed by the zoning board. However, if a homeowner moves into an area with aesthetic zoning, he generally has little recourse but to abide by the rules. The upside is that property values are protected by these rules. Of course, the homeowner can always seek legal advice when facing zoning problems.

Examples of Aesthetic Zoning Regulations

Many people are familiar with aesthetic zoning as it relates to condominium developments and homeowner’s associations. Aesthetic zoning codes may state that houses in the area must be painted from only a certain selection of colors. The material and/or color of roofs may be limited, as may be the landscaping trees, shrubs, grass length, and lawn décor. Some aesthetic zoning ordinances may even limit the types of architecture allowed within a certain area. This is often decided on the basis of the community’s design, and in some situations the limitations are based upon historical accuracy for the neighborhood.


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