Zoning decides what types of land uses will go where. Zoning is what keeps large manufacturing plants from locating near quiet residential neighborhoods and shopping malls from locating inside office parks. Economic development examines ways to best use zoning to a community's economic and financial advantage.
As a best practice, many municipalities encourage prospective businesses to make sure their tentative location is zoned for their intended use before they do anything else. Basically, don't buy a business permit, don't hire people, don't sign a lease with the property owner, don't renovate. Take no action until you know the location is zoned for your prospective use.
Zoning is necessary for a number of reasons. Among the top reasons, allotting parts of land for specific uses. This ensure cities have a healthy mix of housing, businesses, entertainment, and a variety of other purposes that best fit community needs, growth projections, and quality of life.