It is nothing more than a socialist construct that allows government, against your rights, to dictate how, what, when and where, you can do something with private property. Wait, did I say private property? How can property possibly be private if the government can step in at anytime and tell you what you can and can not do with it? Someone somewhere is lying to us. Let's look at the basic definition of zoning to see if we can get a better grasp of what it is supposed to be.
"Zoning: The basic purpose and function of zoning is to divide a municipality into residential, commercial, and industrial districts (or zones), that are for the most part separate from one another, with the use of property within each district being reasonably uniform." http://realestate.findlaw.com/land-use-laws/land-use-and-zoning-basics.html
Already we have issues with the government determining what can be done with private property. That means private property is no longer private. If that is the case, then that means the government has an ownership stake in all property. If that is the case, and they are saying it is, then the government should also be paying a percentage of taxes on property under your name or entity that you hold property under and the government should be getting bills from you on any and all maintenance and upkeep you do on any property. When is the last time this has happened? It hasn't you say? Why not.
If the government is going to dictate to you what can be done with property, then the government needs to also step up and start paying their fair share or get out of our way. Paying for zoning changes and having to go through public hearings for those changes is tantamount to pure theft. The government is stealing from you and all the rest of us. It's time to tell the government to get out of our way and stop stealing from us or they better step up and start paying their fair share of all the work and materials we add to any given property. Tear up the zoning laws. Stop the theft. Tell your elected officials to pay up or tear it up. This is not a government service unless you consider theft of your money a government service.