Zoning is the division of land within a jurisdiction into separate districts within which uses are permitted, prohibited or permitted with conditions. Brief definitions of the different types of uses and structures as relates to zoning are explained here.

Zoning establishes site regulations, such as building heights, bulk (density/floor-to-area ratio), setbacks, building coverage, impervious cover, etc. Zoning is a power granted to municipalities by the State in order to promote public health, safety, morals, or general welfare, and to protect and preserve places and areas of historical, cultural, or architectural importance and significance.

Zoning Districts are established to promote compatible patterns of land use within the city limits. Zoning districts also establish site development regulations and performance standards appropriate to the purposes and the uses allowed in each district. Distinct zoning districts exist for residential, office, retail and industrial uses. Furthermore, specific use restrictions, site development regulations or performance standards may apply to zoning districts combined with special overlay or combining districts.

As part of the zoning process, appropriate land uses for an area are identified based on such factors as the intensity, density, height of a proposed project, surrounding land uses, traffic impacts and access to a site, environmental concerns and overall compatibility. An illustration of Compatibility: Height and Setbacks  shows how compatibility applies to surrounding properties.

More About Zoning

Zoning Frequently Asked Questions

Zoning Verification

To request an official zoning verification letter, please complete the Zoning Verification Letter application, and email to zoningletter@austintexas.gov.