Zoning refers to a system of land-use regulation in North America, the United Kingdom, Australia and other parts of the world. The practice designates permitted uses of land based on mapped zones which separate one set of uses from another. The primary purpose of zoning is to segregate uses that are thought to be incompatible; in practice, zoning is used as a permitting system to prevent new development from harming existing residents or businesses. Zoning is commonly controlled by counties or municipalities, although the nature of the zoning regime can be determined by state or national planning authorities.
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