Washington Law Review


Zoning is a legal device which complements comprehensive planning by effectuating the plan, and is the offspring of urgent urban necessity. In its ordinance form, it constitutes an exercise of the police power and consists primarily of classification. It envisions a division of land into districts, subjecting the land in each district to different regulations concerning its use. Considerations of district boundaries and use regulations are legislative in character, lying within the wisdom of a city council. Zoning generally must reflect an appreciation of the character of the land and its structures, its uniqueness for particular uses, plus regard for uniformity and equality within each use district. They are, of course, subject to judicial scrutiny to test whether they genuinely promote the public health, safety, morals or general welfare.

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