Zoning is a device of land-use planning. It is the practice of designating permitted uses of land based on mapped zones which separate one set of land uses from another. Zoning may be use-based (regulating the uses to which land may be put, also called functional zoning), or it may regulate building height, lot coverage (density), and similar characteristics, or some combination of these. Zoning is used to prevent new development from interfering with existing residents or businesses and to preserve the “character” of a community.City’s Property Information page. (Click the Choose Map icon and select the Zoning Districts layer). For an in-depth look at zoning in Rochester, check out Matthew Denker’s series of articles on RochesterSubway.com.