Nolo's Plain-English Law Dictionary

Spot Zoning

Zoning a parcel of land differently from the parcels around it. For example, a school might be allowed in a residential zone if the local zoning authority decides it benefits the public welfare and is consistent with the city's general land use plan. If a particular instance of spot zoning is challenged in court, the court might find it illegal if it violates the general plan, allows development that is very different from the current surrounding uses, or appears to favor an individual property owner to the detriment of the public. Compare: variance