City Zoning


Briefly stated, zoning is used to establish permitted uses of land, control the intensity of its development, and to minimize conflicting land uses from being adjacent to one another - all with the goal of making the best use of a given piece of land.

The often conflicting (and growing variety of land uses), are not easily classified into a few broadly defined districts. As a result, the process of land use planning and zoning has grown more complex over time.

As seen in the map at right, the Aberdeen of nearly 70 years ago had only three basic zoning districts - Residential, Business & Industrial. Today we have over twenty.

Aberdeen Zoning Map 1942

The increase in the number of zones is largely the result of more gradually defined transitions from one zone to another. For instance, today Aberdeen has zoning districts for a more measured transition from Industrial use to Commercial use to

Residential use. A century ago, houses were built right next to heavy industrial activities, often with the results affecting health and quality of life.

Zoning in Aberdeen today seeks to maintain a "good neighbor and good land steward" approach in terms of property use. In most of our community we find a logical transition between highly intensive land uses to a less intensive use. That's not to say there are not some stark contrasts between one property and another. Some of these abrupt land use changes are the result of long vacated railroad spurs that once weaved through "Hub City", the nature of their business propogating intense use along their corridors, some of which may still be seen today in our current zoning map. Beyond specific Land Uses permitted in each of our zoning districts, a large number of zoning inquiries from land owners, contractors and realtors have to do with structure setbacks and signage.

Jurisdictionally, the City of Aberdeen's Planning and Zoning Department establishes and enforces zoning within the city limits. Requests for Variances, Special Exceptions, and Appeals are heard monthly by the Zoning Board of Adjustment. Rezoning requests are made to the Planning Commission which also meets on a monthly basis.