Zoning boards determine how the land is used (or zoned) in a community.
For example, certain parcels of land are set aside for commercial or industrial use. At times homes are included in these areas but mainly the area is used for business purposes. The zoning board approves or vetoes requests for exceptions to the zoning laws.
Changes to the zoning laws will affect the surrounding community so it is important that the board hears both sides of the argument. For example, there may be an application to the board for permission to build a tavern in a residentially zoned area. This would have an impact on the neighborhood in that it would increase traffic, possibly be noisy, etc.
Zoning regulations may also control the housing density in residential areas for single family homes, townhouses or multiple family dwellings.
Developers would be advised to check with the local population to determine how well received their proposal is. At the same time, citizens have the right to oppose proposed changes to the zoning of their neighborhoods and may appeal to the board with reasons for the opposition.
Citizens who feel strongly about the possibility of their lifestyle being altered due to zoning changes may appeal to the press for support and form groups to lobby for the protection of their neighborhood.
Zoning changes can have an impact on property value therefore it's important that people be aware of the options they have in protecting their neighborhood.