Glossary

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Z

Zero-Base Budgeting
A management process that provides for systematic consideration of all programs and activities in conjunction with formulating budget requests and program planning.

Zip Code
A five- or nine-digit geographic code that identifies areas within the United States and its possessions for purposes of simplifying the distribution of mail by the U.S. Postal Service.
Zone of Saturation
The zone in which the functional permeable rocks are saturated with water under hydrostatic pressure. Water in the zone of saturation will flow into a well and is called ground water.

Zoology
The study and classification of animals and animal life.
Zoning
In general, separating a planning area by ordinance into zones and establishing regulations to govern the use of the land (commercial, industrial, residential, type of residential, etc.) and the location, bulk, height, shape, use, and coverage of structures within each zone.
Zoning, Aesthetic
Zoning which regulates property in the interest of protecting aesthetic values. The U.S. Supreme Court in the 1954 "Berman vs. Parker" case upheld this extension of the original legal justification for zoning powers with its finding that "It is within the power of the legislature to determine that the community should be beautiful as well as healthy."
Zoning, Agricultural
Zoning which restricts land uses to agriculture and other low-density uses.
Zoning, Cluster (Residential Planned Development Zoning, Planned Unit Development Zoning)
Zoning that allows a developer to reduce his or her minimum residential lot size below the zoning ordinance's requirements if the land thereby gained is preserved as permanent open space for the community. Instead of the developer covering his or her tract with equal-sized lots, the local government alters standard lot size regulations to permit tighter patterns of house groupings. This can save money for the developer; he or she builds the same number of housing units, but does not have to clear as much land or lay as much asphalt and service facilities. In exchange, the developer leaves from 40 to 60 percent of the land open and deeds it for common use of the residents. Cluster zoning is a device for building open space into the everyday environment of residential subdivisions.
Zoning, Conservation
Zoning which restrains development of unsuited areas such as steep slopes with fragile soils, areas of scenic beauty, and spaces with other natural values.
Zoning, Euclidean
Zoning of the type adopted by the city of Euclid, Ohio, and made famous in 1926 by the United States Supreme Court decision in village of Euclid vs. Ambler Realty Company, upholding the nation's first comprehensive zoning ordinance. The Euclid zoning ordinance restricted the location of trades, industries, apartment houses, two-family houses, single-family houses, the lot area to be built upon, the size and height of the buildings, etc. The court found these restrictions neither "unreasonable" nor "arbitrary." Since that time, the term has come to describe the most common form of zoning in the United States, in which "use districts" are Designated (e.g., light manufacturing, commercial, single-family residential) and only the permitted use or a "higher" one is allowed. Thus in an area zoned for heavy industry, all other uses would theoretically be permitted (although there are some exceptions to this under the principle of exclusive zoning), whereas in an area of single-family residences, no other uses are likely to be permitted.
Zoning, Exclusive Use
A zoning regulation that permits only one type of use in a particular established zone or district.
Zoning, Flood Plain
Zoning which prohibits and restricts development within flood plains to prevent property loss, to insure public safety, and to enable the safe and natural flow of streams.
Zoning, Forest (Forest Use Zoning)
Zoning which restricts land uses to forestry and related uses, e.g., timber production, watershed, Christmas tree farms, recreation.
Zoning, Large-lot
Zoning which prohibits subdivision of land into individual parcels of less than a specified, relatively large lot size e.g., 1 acre or more. Large-lot zoning is used extensively to retard development.
Zoning, Natural Resource
A blanket term used to refer to all zoning which restricts the uses that are made of natural resource lands so as to maintain the benefits which flow from their natural capacities, productivity or material contents. For example floodplain zoning, agricultural zoning and forest zoning are types of "natural resource zoning".
Zoning, Natural Resource
A blanket term used to refer to all zoning which restricts the uses that are made of natural resource lands so as to maintain the benefits which flow from their natural capacities, productivity or material contents. For example floodplain zoning, agricultural zoning and forest zoning are types of "natural resource zoning".
Zoning, Open Space
Zoning which restricts land uses so as to retain open space. It includes large-lot zoning and cluster zoning (forms of development zoning) and natural resources zoning.
Zoning Ordinance
A local law or regulation enacted by a city council or other similar body (working under the powers delegated to it by the state) which establishes the appropriate uses within a particular, Designated area (i.e., a zone) and the location, bulk, height, shape, use and coverage of structures, etc. within each zone.
Zoning, Performance (Performance Standard Zoning)
Regulations providing general criteria for determining the acceptability of certain industries, land uses, and buildings as distinguished from specification standards or detailed requirements. This type of zoning does not bar an industry or use by name but admits any use, provided the particular requirements set for admission are met.
Zoning Permit
An official finding that a planned use or structure complies with the zoning regulations or is allowed by the granting of a special exception or variance. No new development or substantial change of use can occur until such a permit is issued in a planning area regulated by zoning ordinances.
Zoning, Prohibition
Any of the class of zoning regulations which only allows certain types of use in certain kinds of areas. For example, flood plain zoning frequently permits only uses which do not need structures or do not reduce the flood water storage capacity of such hazardous areas.
Zoning, Spot
Designating an isolated parcel of land for a use classification that is harmful to or inconsonant with the use classification of the surrounding area so as to favor a particular owner. The courts have held such zoning to be "unreasonable" and "capricious". To avoid judicial invalidation, zoning of small areas can be enacted only when it is in furtherance of a general plan properly adopted by, and designed to serve the best interests of the community as a whole. This does not mean that an entire city or county must be zoned at one time, but there must be uniformity in the class or type of building to which the zoning applies.
Zoning, Time
Restricting an existing non-conforming use within a use district to a specific period, upon the expiration of which it becomes illegal. Sometimes the time period's justification is referred to as "amortization of the use" and it is presumed to afford the nonconforming owner a reasonable number of years within which to recover his or her investment under the pre-existing use.
Zoological Area
An area which has been Designated by the Forest Service or others as containing authentic, significant, and interesting evidence of the American national heritage as it pertains to fauna. The areas are meaningful because they embrace animals, animal groups or animal communities that are natural and important because of occurrence, habitat, location, life history, ecology, environment, rarity or other features. Areas of this type and all other special interest areas are identified and formally classified primarily because of their recreational values. Areas with similar types of values of scientific importance are formally classified as "research natural areas".
Zooplankton
(1) Suspended or floating animal organisms usually drifting passively with water currents, e.g., protozoans, entomostracans, and various larvae. (2) The animal portion of the plankton.


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Last revision January 17, 2000.