Meaning of RE-1 Zone

By Owen Shore
Rural estate zones separate agricultural land from non-agricultural land.

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The term "RE-1 zone" refers to a rural estate zone at least 1 acre in size. Rural estates act as buffer zones between agricultural land and spaces meant for residential, commercial or industrial uses. As low-density areas, they prove suitable for single-family homes, light agricultural use and rural commercial, such as riding schools and stables.

Zoning

Through zoning, cities and counties restrict the acceptable uses of a piece of land, such as by allowing only residential or industrial uses. Zoning can also control the density permitted in a given area; for example, a low-density residential zone might allow only single-family houses, while a high-density zone could permit multi-unit apartment buildings. The planning commission of the local government drafts zoning ordinances to implement the general plan of development for the city or county. Local ordinances describe zones by zoning codes, which often combine letters standing for the acceptable use with a number for the acceptable density.

Features

Common features of an RE zone include minimum and maximum acreage, maximum dwellings per acre, environmental protections and restrictions on nonresidential use other than limited agriculture. Because zoning ordinances vary by city or county, the specific requirements of the RE zone will differ from place to place.

Locations

Found in cities and counties that contain or border on land meant for agricultural uses, rural estates act as a buffer between land zoned for agriculture and other zone types, preventing them from interfering with one another and preserving the natural landscape between these areas. Because rural estates only prove necessary in areas that have a significant amount of agricultural land near nonagricultural zones, this zoning type is relatively rare.

Types and Variants

An RE zone is often classified by its minimum size. For example, an RE-2 zone contains at least 2 acres. Counties with rural estate zones may also create alternate types of RE zoning based on usage restrictions, such as agricultural rural estates, or A-RE, which allow landowners greater leeway in using the land for agriculture, and residential rural estates, or R-RE, which allow for a higher residential density.

About the Author

Owen Shore is a California real-estate broker and development consultant. He has contributed to studies on the environmental impact and strategic viability of new housing projects since 2007. Shore received a Bachelor of Arts in business administration from the University of the Pacific with concentrations in entrepreneurship and real estate.

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