In most jurisdictions throughout the world, the use of land is regulated or "zoned." Zoning laws dictate how particular parcels of land may be used, what may be built on the land, and what type of business may be operated on the land, among other things. One type of zoning found in most jurisdictions is school zoning. School zoning is the term used to describe the process by which a jurisdiction determines that land is to be used for a daycare or preschool, primary, or secondary school.
In most jurisdictions, zoning laws are determined by the local or state legislature. The purpose of zoning laws may change from one jurisdiction to another. In some countries, or localities, zoning is necessary to regulate land where land is at a premium. For example, in densely populated countries such as India or Japan, land use is heavily regulated. In other jurisdictions, land use may be regulated in order to preserve park lands, to maintain the look of a particular neighborhood, or for any other reason a legislature determines is appropriate.
Legislation is also frequently enacted to determine school zoning. In many jurisdictions, school zoning is necessary to set aside specific areas where a preschool, primary, or secondary school may be built. In order to ensure that adequate land is available to serve all the students in a school system, the local legislature will devote certain plots of land to school zoning, meaning that only an educational facility may be erected on the land.
A school zone will have an impact on the residents or businesses that live or operate in the general area as well. In many cases, when an area is designated as a school zone for zoning purposes, commercial or industrial zoning is not allowed nearby. This is particularly true if the land is intended to be used for a preschool or primary school facility, as younger children will be using the facility.
Another effect of school zoning for residents, or motorists driving through the area, is that the speed limit is generally considerably lower in school zones during normal hours of operation of the school. Understandably, lawmakers often want to protect the children who may be walking to or from school each day. As a result, strict speed limit enforcement is common in school zones and violators may expect to pay a hefty fine for violating the speed limit in a school zone.