Zoning FAQ 6

What is spot zoning and when is it lawful?

Spot zoning is when a zoning ordinance is amended to zone a relatively small area for uses significantly different from those allowed in the surrounding area to favor the owner of a particular piece of property. Ohm, Guide to Community Planning in Wisconsin at 105. Spot zoning is not necessarily illegal because such zoning is not necessarily inconsistent with the purposes for which zoning ordinances can be passed. However, rezoning should be consistent with long-range planning and based upon considerations which affect the whole community. Therefore spot zoning should only be indulged in where it is in the public interest and not solely for the benefit of the property owner requesting the rezoning. Bubolz v. Dane County, 159 Wis.2d 284, 464 N.W.2d 67 (Ct. App. 1990).