An Analysis of the Effectiveness of Overlay Zoning as a Method of Land Use Control

Date of Graduation

Summer 1992


Master of Science in Geospatial Sciences


Geography, Geology, and Planning

Committee Chair

William Cheek


Zoning in the United States has changed significantly since its inception over 60 years ago. One important change has been the development of flexible zoning techniques. The purpose of this study was to analyze overlay zoning to determine if it is an effective method of regulating land use activities. Four specific tasks were undertaken. First, the history of zoning was analyzed to determine what prompted the development of flexible zoning techniques. Second, overlay regulations from five municipalities were reviewed to define the applications and provisions of the technique. Third, a survey of planners in municipalities utilizing overlay zoning was conducted to obtain primary information about their perceptions of the technique. Fourth, a case study was conducted to determine the feasibility of implementing an urban corridor overlay in Nixa, Missouri. The findings of this study indicate that overlay zoning offers numerous advantages for the regulation of land in municipalities of all sizes. Overlay zoning allows requirements to be developed to effectively regulate land use in many areas with sensitive regulatory needs.

Subject Categories

Earth Sciences


© Kevin S Wallace