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spot zoning

n. a provision in a general plan which benefits a single parcel of land by creating a zone for use just for that parcel and different from the surrounding properties in the area. Example: in a residential neighborhood zoned for single-family dwellings with a minimum of 10,000 square feet, the corner service station property is zoned commercial. Spot zoning is not favored, since it smacks of favoritism and usually annoys neighbors. An existing commercial business can be accommodated by a "zoning variance" (allowing a non-conforming use for the time being) or a "grandfathered" right to continue a use existing when the zoning plan was adopted and which will terminate if the building is torn down.

See also: grandfathered in  zoning 

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The People's Law Dictionary by Gerald and Kathleen Hill Publisher Fine Communications