Know Your Zoning
Contrary to popular belief, rural areas in Arizona are “zoned” by their respective county government. In addition other many duties that counties have on behalf of their residents, such as taxing responsibilities, law enforcement, health standards, and road maintenance, Arizona Revised Statues under Title 11 require land use planning and authorize zoning. While planning is the process by which counties and their unincorporated communities determine the general category or designation of land uses for future development, zoning is the more specific determination of uses and development standards, such as lot sizes and setbacks, by zoning districts. Zoning is the mechanism by which government protects public health, safety and welfare in addition to minimizing impacts to neighboring properties. This may not be new information to many, but the perception of the “wild west” free of regulation is still pervasive in sparsely populated areas. Certain general agriculture and ranching activities are statutorily exempt from zoning regulations in Arizona, but this isn’t the case for all other uses such as residential dwellings.