A common question we get at JEArchitecture from clients looking to undertake a building project usually starts in relation to land zoning or land use zoning. What do we mean by the term ‘Land use zoning’? Each town or county has a development plan which outlined a set of rules and goals in the areas development for a set period of time.
The Plan sets out zonings for the city council area and associated land uses within each zone. The zoning strategy is based on the need to ensure that land use zoning spatially facilitates the aims of the core strategy and the desire to develop a compact, clean, green, connected city. Zoned land must accommodate the expected growth in population and other growth needs of Dublin city within the lifetime of the Plan. Below we will outline the various types of zoning and what they mean in terms of likely development opportunities for our clients to give them an idea of what or where they may be able to develop their dream project.
Below we will outline the permissible uses per zone and the link below will delve into further considered uses for each zone – https://www.dublincity.ie/sites/default/files/content/Planning/DublinCityDevelopmentPlan/Written%20Statement%20Volume%201.pdf
Residential (General) – Zone Z1
Land Use Zoning Objective Z1: To protect, provide and improve residential amenities.
The general objectives for primarily residential areas are to provide a measure of protection from unsuitable new development or certain “bad-neighbour” developments that would either threaten or be incompatible with the overall residential function of the area. It is not intended to rule out development other than housing development but simply to apply a test that the new development should be compatible with or reinforce the residential function of the area as a whole. In both new and established residential areas there will be a range of uses that have the potential to foster the development of new residential communities. These are uses that benefit from a close relationship with the immediate community and have high standards of amenity, such as convenience shopping, crèches, schools, nursing homes, open space, recreation and amenity uses.
Zoning Objective Z1:
- Permissible Uses
Buildings for the health, safety and welfare of the public, Childcare facility, Community facility, Education (excluding a night-time use), Embassy, Enterprise Centre, Halting site, Home-based economic activity, Medical and related consultants, Open space, Park and ride facility, Place of public worship, Public service installation, Residential, Shop (neighbourhood), Training centre.
Residential (Conservation Areas) – Zone Z2
Land Use Zoning Objective Z2: To protect and/or improve the amenities of residential conservation areas.
Residential conservation areas have extensive groupings of buildings and associated open spaces with an attractive quality of architectural design and scale. The overall quality of the area in design and layout terms is such that it requires special care in dealing with development proposals which affect structures in such areas, both protected and non protected. The general objective for such areas is to protect them from unsuitable new developments or works that would have a negative impact on the amenity or architectural quality of the area. The principal land use in Residential Conservation Areas is housing but can include a limited range of other secondary and established uses such as those outlined above in respect of Z1 lands.
Zoning Objective Z2:
- Permissible Uses
Buildings for the health, safety and welfare of the public, Childcare facility, Home-based economic activity, Medical and related consultants, Open space, Public service installation, Residential,
Neighbourhood Centres – Zone Z3
Land Use Zoning Objective Z3: To provide for and improve neighbourhood facilities.
These are areas which provide local facilities such as small convenience shops, hairdressers, hardware etc. within a residential neighbourhood. They can form a focal point for a neighbourhood and provide a limited range of services within approximately 5 minutes walking distance of the local population. Neighbourhood centres provide an essential and sustainable amenity for residential areas and it is important that they should be maintained and strengthened where necessary. Neighbourhood centres may include an element of housing, particularly at higher densities, and above ground floor level. When opportunities arise, accessibility, particularly by public transport, walking and cycling, should be enhanced.
Zoning Objective Z3:
– Permissible Uses
ATM, Bed and Breakfast, Betting office, Buildings for the health safety and welfare of the public, Car park, Childcare facility, Community facility, Cultural/recreational building and uses, Education (excluding a night-time use), Enterprise Centre, Garden Centre, Guest House, Home-based economic activity, Industry (light), Medical and related consultants, Open space, Public service installation, Residential, Restaurant, Shop (neighbourhood), Training centre.
District Centres – Zone Z4
Land Use Zoning Objective Z4: To provide for and improve mixed-services facilities.
District Centres provide a far higher level of services than neighbourhood centres. They will have outlets of greater size selling goods or providing services of a higher order, and their catchment area extends spatially to a far greater area than neighbourhood centres would normally service. District centres will often attract large volumes of traffic and should be located on transport corridors and intersections, and be well serviced by public transport.
To maintain their role as district centres, new development should enhance their attractiveness and safety for pedestrians and a diversity of uses should be promoted to maintain their vitality throughout the day and evening. In this regard, opportunity should be taken to use the levels above ground level for additional commercial/retail/services or residential use. Higher densities will be permitted in district centres particularly where they are well served by public transport. The district centre concept can provide a focal point for the delivery of integrated services as envisaged in the Dublin City Development Board’s document Dublin – A City of Possibilities 2002-2012.
In response to this opportunity, the City Council have identified and designated a number of Prime Urban Centres. These centres that have, or will have in the future, the capacity, by reason of their existing size, accessibility to public transport and/or established urban form, to deliver on a range of requirements, the most important of which are:
- An increased density of development,
- A viable retail and commercial core,
- A comprehensive range of high quality community and social services,
- A distinctive spatial identity with a high quality physical environment.
A symbol and reference number identifies the designated Prime Urban Centres on the development plan maps. General principles with regard to the overall development in these identified Prime Urban Centres are set out below. Proposals for development within these areas should be in accordance with these principles in addition to complying with the land use zoning.
The following locations have been identified as Prime Urban Centres:
- PUC1 North Fringe East and West
- PUC2 Northside Shopping Centre
- PUC4 Ballymun
- PUC5 Finglas Village
- PUC6 Ballyfermot
- PUC7 Rathmines
- PUC8 Ballsbridge
- PUC9 Phibsborough
- PUC10 Crumlin Shopping Centre
Within these identified Prime Urban Centres, the following general development principles shall apply:
- Population: Establish significant residential population bases with diversity in unit types and tenures capable of establishing long-term integrated communities.
- Density: Ensure the establishment of high-density developments capable of sustaining quality public transport systems and supporting local services and activities.
- Transport: Ensuring provision is made for quality public transport systems.
- Commercial/Retail: The creation of a vibrant retail and commercial core with animated streetscapes.
- Community and Social Services: The centres will be encouraged to become the focal point for the integrated delivery of community and social services.
- Employment: Encourage the provision of mixed-use developments incorporating retail, office, residential and live-work units, and the creation of small start-up units. (The floor area limitations in respect of offices given in the land use zoning objective Z4 shall not apply in the case of identified Prime Urban Centres, and applications involving office development in these areas shall be assessed on their merits).
- Built Environment: The creation of high quality, mixed-use urban districts with a distinctive spatial identity and coherent urban structure of interconnected streets and public spaces.
- Capacity for Development: Encourage the development/ redevelopment of under-utilised sites.
It shall be an objective of Dublin City Council to prepare, in consultation with the public, plans to cover the areas identified as Prime Urban Centres (PUCs). The boundaries of these PUCs will be formally delineated during the course of the drafting of such plans. In the specific case of Rathmines, any plan should build on the work already undertaken by the Rathmines Initiative Group.
Zoning Objective Z4:
– Permissible Uses
Amusement/leisure complex, ATM, Bed and breakfast, Betting Office, Buildings for the health safety and welfare of the public, Car park, Car trading, Childcare facility, Civic offices, Community facility, Cultural/recreational building and uses, Education, Enterprise centre, Garden centre, Guest house, Halting site, Home-based economic activity, Hostel, Hotel, Industry (light), Live work units, Media recording and general media-associated uses, Medical and related consultants, Motor sales showroom, Office (max 600 Sq. m.)*, Open space, Park and ride facility, Petrol station, Place of public worship, Public house, Restaurant, Science and technology-based industry, Shop (district), Shop (neighbourhood), Takeaway, Training centre.
City Centre (Mixed Use) – Zone Z5
Land Use Zoning Objective Z5: To consolidate and facilitate the development of the central area, and to identify, reinforce, strengthen and protect its civic design character and dignity.
The primary purpose of this use zone is to sustain life within the centre of the city through intensive mixed use development. The strategy is to provide a dynamic mix of uses, which interact with each other, creates a sense of community and which sustains the vitality of the inner city both by day and night.
Ideally, this mix of uses should occur both vertically through the floors of the building as well as horizontally along the street frontage. While a general mix of uses e.g. retail, commercial, residential etc. will be desirable throughout the area on the principal shopping streets, retail will be the predominant use at ground floor level.
Zoning Objective Z5:
– Permissible Uses
Amusement/leisure complex, ATM, Bed and Breakfast, Betting office, Buildings for the health safety and welfare of the public, Car park, Car trading, Childcare facility, Civic Offices, Community facility, Conference centre, Cultural/recreational building and uses, Education, Embassy, Enterprise centre, Funeral home, Guest house, Home-based economic activity, Hostel, Hotel, Industry (light), Live work units, Media recording and general media-associated uses, Medical and related consultants, Motor sales showroom, Nightclub, Office, Open space, Place of public worship, Public house, Public service installation, Residential, Restaurant, Science and technology-based industry, Shop (district), Shop (neighbourhood), Shop (Major comparison), Takeaway, Training centre, Veterinary surgery, Warehousing (retail/non-food) Retail Park, Internet Café.
Employment / Enterprise – Zone Z6
Land Use Zoning Objective Z6: To provide for the creation and protection of enterprise and facilitate opportunities for employment creation
It is considered that Z6 lands constitute an important land bank for employment use in the city which it is considered strategically important to protect. A number of accessible mixed use inner suburban sites which were zoned Z6 have been rezoned Z10 to permit a wider range of mixed use development, making it important that remaining Z6 lands are available to service the employment requirements of the city.
The uses in these areas will be primarily office based industry and business technology parks developed to a high environmental standard and incorporating a range of amenities. A range of other uses including residential are open for consideration on lands zoned objective Z6 but are seen as ancillary to their primary use as employment zones. In established areas Z6 lands may include light industry and some retail which has become established over a number of years.
The uses in this zone are likely to generate a considerable amount of traffic by both employees and service traffic. Sites should therefore have good vehicular and public transport access. The implementation of mobility management plans will provide important means of managing accessibility to these sites.
Zoning Objective Z6:
– Permissible Uses
ATM, Betting Office, Car park, Childcare facility, Conference centre, Cultural/recreational building and Uses, Enterprise centre, Hotel, Industry (light), Live work units, Open space, Park and ride facility, Public service installation, Restaurant, Science and technology-based industry, Shop (neighbourhood), Training centre.
Employment (Industry) – Zone Z7
Land Use Zoning Objective Z7: To provide for the protection and creation of industrial uses, and facilitate opportunities for employment creation.
The primary uses in these areas are those which result in a standard of amenity which would not be acceptable in other areas. They can unavoidably cause ‘bad neighbour’ problems due to the generation of dis-amenities such as noise, smells, heavy goods traffic etc. Activities include industry other than light industry; manufacturing repairs, open storage, waste material treatment, transport operating services.
These areas require a measure of protection from other non-compatible ‘clean’ uses as this can result in conflict and limit the expansion of the primary use in the area. In particular, activities that fall within the scope of the SEVESO II (COMAH) Regulations should only be permitted on lands zoned Objective Z7 and the expansion of such facilities may be impacted by the requirement to protect surrounding land uses.
Zoning Objective Z7:
- Permissible Uses
ATM, Betting Office, Boarding kennel, Car park, Chemical processing and storage, Childcare facility, Civic and amenity/recycling centre, Enterprise centre, Garage (motor repair/Service), General industrial uses, Heavy vehicle park, Household fuel depot, Industry (light), Incinerator/Waste to energy plant, Open space, Outdoor poster advertising, Park and ride facility, Petrol station, Port-related industries and facilities, Public house, Public service installation, Scrap yard, Storage depot (open), Support office ancillary to primary use, Transfer station, Transport depot, Warehousing.
Conservation Areas – Zone Z8
Land Use Zoning Objective Z8: To protect the existing architectural and civic design character, to allow only for limited expansion consistent with the conservation objective. To allow primarily residential and compatible office and institutional uses.
Lands zoned objective Z8 incorporate the main conservation areas in the city, primarily the Georgian Squares. The aim is to protect the architectural design and overall setting of such areas. A range of uses are permitted in such zones, the main ones of which are residential, office and industrial uses that do not impact negatively on the architectural character and setting of the area.
Zoning Objective Z8:
– Permissible Uses
Childcare facility, Cultural/recreational building and Uses, Education, Embassy, Guest house, Home-based economic activity, Hostel, Hotel, Medical and related consultants, Office (Maximum 50% of unit and excluding retail branch bank/building society), Open space, Residential,
Amenity/Open Space Lands – Zone Z9
Land Use Zoning Objective Z9: To preserve, provide and improve recreational amenity and open space.
This zoning includes all amenity open space lands which can be divided into three broad categories as follows:
1 Public open space
2 Private open space
3 Sports facilities in private ownership
Generally, the only new development allowed in these areas, other than the amenity / recreational uses themselves are those associated with the open space use. Specifically, residential development shall not be permitted on public or privately owned open space apart from limited once off development on lands accommodating private sports facilities as detailed below.
In the case of sports facilities in private ownership, Dublin City Council recognises that a number of such facilities are under pressure to relocate so as to release resources for the maintenance and development of the club or sports facility. In certain instances where it is considered to be required to secure, protect and consolidate the sporting and amenity nature of the lands and retain the facility in the local area, some limited degree of residential development may be permitted on such sites on a once off basis and subject to the primary use of the site being retained for sporting / amenity use.
Zoning Objective Z9:
– Permissible Uses
Club house and associated facilities, Municipal golf course, Open space, Public service installation.
Inner Suburban (Mixed Use) – Zone Z10
Land Use Zoning Objective Z10: To consolidate and facilitate the development of inner suburban sites for mixed use development of which office, retail and residential would be the predominant uses.
The primary uses in this zone are residential, office and retail with, on balance residential being the main use provided for. A range of other smaller ancillary uses to service the site will also be facilitated. The concept of mixed use is central to the development or redevelopment of these sites and mono uses, either all residential or all employment / office use, shall not generally be permitted.
Lands zoned Z10 will cater for a relatively intensive form of development in accessible inner suburban locations, and the range of uses permitted will be similar to Z5 but not as intensive or wide ranging reflecting more suburban location and the interactions with surrounding established land uses.
Accessibility will be an issue in the development of Z10 lands, and where significant numbers of employment and or residents are envisaged, a mobility management plan will be required.
Zoning Objective Z10:
– Permissible Uses
ATM, Bed and breakfast, Betting Office, Buildings for the health safety and welfare of the public, Childcare facility, Craft centre/craft shop, Cultural/recreational building and uses, Education (excluding a night-time use), Financial institution, Guest house, Halting site, Home-based economic activity, Hostel, Hotel, Live work units, Medical and related consultants, Motor sales showroom, Office, Public service installation, Residential, Restaurant, Shop (neighbourhood).
Waterways Protection – Zone Z11
Land Use Zoning Objective Z11: To protect and improve canal, coastal and river amenities.
These areas generally include all the waterways and waterbodies in Dublin City Council area.
The purpose of the zoning is to protect the amenity of these areas including views and prospects into/out of the areas.
Zoning Objective Z11:
– Permissible Uses
Open space, Water-based recreational/cultural activities.
Institutional Land (Future Development Potential) – Zone Z12
Land Use Zoning Objective Z12: To ensure the existing environmental amenities are protected in any future use of these lands.
These are lands the majority of which are in institutional use, which could possibly be developed for other uses such as residential.
These areas include community and recreation related development including schools and colleges, residential health care institutions (e.g. hospitals) and development for other community uses (e.g. club meeting facilities such as scout and guide halls). Often significant ancillary facilities such as staff accommodation and dedicated open space or sports and recreational facilities are included.
It is important that any change of use of these areas maintains to some degree the passive amenity provided by the existing use even if they are not officially open to the public.
Zoning Objective Z12:
– Permissible Uses
ATM, Bed and breakfast, Buildings for the health safety and welfare of the public, Caravan park/Camp Site (holiday), Childcare facility, Community facility, Conference centre, Cultural/recreational building and Uses, Education, (excluding night-time uses) Embassy, Enterprise centre, Garden centre, Golf course and clubhouse, Guest house, Halting site, Hostel, Hotel, Media recording and general media-associated uses, Medical and related consultants, Open space, Place of public worship, Public service installation, Residential institution, Residential, Restaurant, Science and technology-based industry, Training centre.
Public Housing Rejuvenation Areas – Zone Z13
Land Use Zoning Objective Z13: To seek the social, economic and physical rejuvenation of an area.
These are the large scale public housing areas for which it is envisaged that significant improvement and rejuvenation works (both social, economic and physical) shall be undertaken over the lifetime of the plan.
Zoning Objective Z13:
– Permissible Uses
ATM, Bed and breakfast, Betting Office, Buildings for the health safety and welfare of the public, Childcare facility, Cultural/recreational buildings and Uses, Education (excluding a night-time use), Education, Enterprise centre, Guest house, Hostel, Hotel, Industry (light), Medical recording and general media-associated uses, Medical and related consultants, Office, Open space, Residential, Shop (neighbourhood)
Framework Development Areas – Zone Z14
Land Use Zoning Objective Z14: To seek the social, economic and physical development and / or rejuvenation of an area with mixed use of which residential and “Z6” would be the predominant uses.
These are areas where proposals for comprehensive development or redevelopment have been, or are in the process of being prepared, and in the case of each, a number of development principles to guide the development of each area have been identified. These development principles are set out in Section 14.8 below. It should be noted that not all of the identified Framework Development Areas (Z14) are zoned Z14 in their entirety. A number, (e.g. Heuston Station and Environs and City Markets) have a range of zonings within their identified boundaries.
The development principles, the relevant land use zoning objectives and development standards should be complied with in the making of development proposals on lands zoned objective Z14.
The following areas have been identified as Framework Development Areas in the Plan:
Northside Shopping Centre
Heuston Station and Environs
Spencer Dock North
Zoning Objective Z14:
– Permissible Uses
All uses outlined in Zones 1 and 6
Institutional Land (Long Term Institutional Use) – Zone Z15
Land Use Zoning Objective Z15: To provide for institutional and community uses.
These are areas which are reserved for future institutional and community uses and for existing uses which are unlikely to change in the future. The present uses on the land generally include community related development including schools and colleges, residential health care institutions e.g. hospitals, prisons.
The uses can sometimes cause amenity problems for adjoining uses (e.g. noise generated by 24-hour traffic going to/from a hospital adjacent to a residential area). Opportunities should be taken, through the treatment of boundaries and landscaping etc. to protect adjoining areas from any adverse effect that may necessarily arise from this category of use.
Zoning Objective Z15:
– Permissible Uses
ATM, Buildings for the health safety and welfare of the public, Childcare facility, Community facility, Cultural/recreational building and Uses, Education, Medical and related consultants, Open space, Place of public worship, Public service installation, Residential institution