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A zone is a region classified by government law (usually on the city level) for some specific use. A zone may be residential, business, commercial, farming, industrial, or open-space. A residential zone is thus separated from a business zone, and industrial zone, etc. Zones may be further subdivided; for example, a residential zone may be divided into apartments and single-family homes. A government creates a zone as a way to protect existing businesses or residential areas. The characteristics of a zone may be subject to alteration via a variance; thus, zones are not ironclad. The first zone creation occurred in New York City in 1916. Zoning also includes regulation of building height and placement of buildings from the edges of lots.

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