Standard State Zoning Enabling Act (SZEA)

Primary tabs

The first, A Standard State Zoning Enabling Act (SZEA), was developed by an advisory committee on zoning appointed by Secretary of Commerce (and later President) Herbert Hoover in 1921. After several revisions, the Government Printing Office published the first printed edition in May 1924, and a revised edition in 1926.

The SZEA had nine sections. It included a grant of power, a provision that the legislative body could divide the local government's territory into districts, a statement of purpose for the zoning regulations, and procedures for establishing and amending the zoning regulations. A legislative body was required to establish a zoning commission to advise it on the initial development of zoning regulations.

The State of Louisiana adopted this legislation in 1926 to allow municipalities to participate, in comprehensive municipal zoning. Parishes were not granted zoning authority until 1944, for airport zoning. 

"When the Louisiana state legislature adopted the SZEA in 1926, they did not include any clause offering freedom to appoint an existing planning commission as a zoning commission. Furthermore, the Louisiana law did not require that municipal governments hold public hearings and receive reports and recommendations from a zoning commission before making a decision. As a result, municipal government bodies could proceed with zoning however they saw fit and without suggestions from any sort of board or commission. As a result, zoning occurred without any planning and at the decision of the political bodies in charge. In 1928, the Louisiana state legislature adopted Act 234, which granted authority to police juries to regulate subdivisions and layouts of streets and parks. Again, there was no requirement or mention of planning before deciding on regulations."  -- Land, Lauren. Brief History of Planning and Zoning in Louisiana. A presentation at the Lafourche Parish Coastal Hazards Workshop, January 2013.

January, 1926
legislation icon