Most cities and towns throughout the country, including South Kingstown, use zoning to regulate the use of land within their borders.  The ordinance is based on the Town’s Comprehensive Plan, which separates the community into different land use areas.  These areas are then used to develop a more detailed Zoning Map, which divides the Town into “districts” or “zones.” For example, South Kingstown has numerous “residential zones”, “commercial zones”, and “industrial zones.” The Town’s Zoning Map can be viewed here.

Zoning regulations became common about 100 years ago and were used primarily to keep people safe. For example, many cities used zoning to ensure that residential neighborhoods were not located too close to dangerous industrial uses. Over time, zoning has evolved to achieve many different objectives.  South Kingstown uses its Zoning Ordinance to foster healthy neighborhood development, create economic opportunity, protect natural resources, protect historic areas, and encourage the development of vibrant mixed-use village districts.