Zoning and eminent domain

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Zoning is a process that a government would take while planning the cities layout or anything that is to be erected from the ground in a city. It can also be said to be the division of a region into zones so as to control numerous buildings and their uses or the number of crops to be planted on a piece of land and reduce conflicts between land owners. Eminent domain on the other hand is the law that gives the government the right to obtain private land from their owner and release it for public use. The previous private owner is normally compensated (Bayer 3). Eminent domain occurs because the government normally has the power to be in charge of all the lands that are within its jurisdiction.

Advantages of zoning

Zoning helps one to constantly have the value of their land or building appreciating since there are normally similarly-used pieces of land in the same zone. This is to say that zoning laws helps people who own land to be able to maintain the value of the land by avoiding the bad use of land that would lead to the reduction in value of a piece of land by the neighboring one. In short a neighbor is not allowed to practice any activity that would lead to a depreciation of land or property value of another neighbor (Stephens 18).Zoning also helps in safeguarding the health and sanitation of people. areas that are zoned to occupy industries normally release harmful toxic wastes into rivers and also release pollutants into the air making the areas unsafe for residents to stay in. this is the main reason as to why residential land are kept far away from industrial zoned land (Mougeot 45).

Disadvantages of zoning

One very major shortcoming of zoning laws is the fact that it limits the property owners from doing anything with their land. another disadvantages is that the authorities might use zoning laws combined with eminent domain to do away with land that was affordable to residents and put something that would only benefit a few in the society (Peterson 32). it has been noted that corrupt governments in most countries in Africa get rid of slums and construct roads instead of better houses leaving most residents displaced and at times homeless.

Advantages of eminent domain

In the case where the government of a country comes up with projects that become successful once they are implemented. For example, the government can decide to use eminent domain to obtain a piece of private land to pave way for construction of cheap and affordable housing for the citizens of the country. Another advantage is that the government can easily take up a building and give it to a private developer to replace that one if it is in a bad state since it has the jurisdiction to do so. If eminent domain did not exist most of the buildings would be in poor standards because most of the owners would not be willing to sell the land and yet they would not be maintaining them as required (Callies 34).

Disadvantages of eminent domain

There are two major disadvantages that are caused by eminent domain. One among them,  is  that  the individual owner of a piece of land might feel that the amount of money being given to them is too low and they are experiencing a loss. In another case the owner might not want to sell the land for any price given to them. Depending on the laws that have been set up, the private land owner is at liberty to file a law suit against the government (Engels 78). Another negative impact of exercising eminent domain by the government is because it leads to mass evictions. For example, the government might use eminent domain to get rid of poor people living on a piece of land and replace their houses with other projects that would not really benefit the people who have been evicted. Such projects could be the construction of a high-end hotel or an expensive shopping mall.


It is normally in the jurisdiction of the government to ensure that the land is well planned. The planning of land is very important because it ensure that the population and natural resources are well distributed amongst the citizens. It also helps in the reduction of conflicts between land owners. It is also important to note that governments should use this law to make sure everybody benefits and nobody suffers heavily as these laws are being exercised.

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  1. Bayer, Michael, Nancy Frank, and Jason Valerius. Becoming an Urban Planner: A Guide to Careers in Planning and Urban Design. Hoboken, N.J: John Wiley & Sons, 2010. Print.
  2. Stephens, Tim. Manual on Small Earth Dams: A Guide to Siting, Design, and Construction. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 2010. Print.
  3. Mougeot, Luc J. A. Growing Better Cities: Urban Agriculture for Sustainable Development. Ottawa [u.a.: IDRC, International Development Research Centre, 2006. Print.
  4. Peterson, George E. Unlocking Land Values to Finance Urban Infrastructure. Washington, DC: World Bank, 2009. Print.
  5. Callies, David L. Regulating Paradise: Land Use Controls in Hawaiʻi. Honolulu: University of Hawaiʻi Press, 2010. Print.
  6. Engels, Friedrich, and Florence K. Wischnewetzky. The Condition of the Working-Class in England in 1844: With Preface Written in 1892. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010. Internet resource.
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