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Zoning graphics are used to create a land use zoning plan, where you can graphically visualize various use areas (zones) throughout your site and apply data to the different zones for analysis.

The Zoning Manager is now a docked palette. Want to undock this palette? See our documentation on docking and undocking palettes such as the Zoning, Grading, Irrigation, and Plant managers.

Zoning Overview

Open the Zoning tool:



F/X Site ribbon, Zoning flyout


F/X Site ribbon, Zoning flyout

F/X Graphics menu


F/X Graphics pull-down menu, Zoning option




Graphics toolbar


Graphics toolbar

Graphics RefNotes toolbar


Graphics RefNotes toolbar




typing FX_Zoning in the Command line




The Zoning Manager will open.



Zoning Manager, overview

1. This area will list the Zoning categories that have been added to your project.


2. Add a New Zoning category.


3. Edit existing categories.


4. Delete existing categories.


5. Import categories already created in another project or template.


6. Move categories Up or Down in the list.


7. Place a selected category.


8. Generate a Zoning Schedule.

Creating a New Zoning Category

In the Zoning Manager, click New.

Zoning Manager, New button




Selecting a Hatch or Color
Hatch dialog box

The Hatch dialog box will open when you create a new Zoning category.




Here, you can select a color for your new Zoning category. The colors shown here are based upon the American Planning Association (APA) Land Use colors.




Scroll through the color options using the scroll bar to the right, and select a color or a site hatch to represent your Zoning category.



Click OK to create the new category.

This dialog box also opens when you opt to select a new hatch or color for an existing Zoning category.

Note: The available color names are only meant to distinguish the colors themselves. For example, you don't HAVE to use the Neighborhood Commercial color for that particular use. You can use any color you want, or you can create a new color for your Zoning category.



Adding or Editing Data

After you select a color, the New Zone dialog box will open. Here, you can fill in the data of your new Zoning category.


New Zone dialog box

1. Title: The title of the category. The default title will be the name of the color, which is filled in here.


2. Note: Note area to fill in description information for this Zoning category.


3. If you want, you can type the density in units per acre (or metric units per hectare), or the Floor Area Ratio (FAR) – the percentage of the zone that can be in building floor areas. A multi-story building may have a FAR of 600%, which would mean the floor area can be six times that of the gross zone.


4. User Fields: You can add custom fields if needed to help define your usage. Click Add Field to add a new field.


5. Symbol: The color or hatch you selected for this category. Click this area to assign a new color or hatch.


6. Check this box if you want your color to appear as a Gradient.


7. Use the Linetype pull-down menu to select whether you want the bounding line to be Non-Plot (the default) or Continuous.




A typical filled-in category of this usage might look like this:

Typicall filled-in Zoning category

Placing a Zone

On any layer, draw a polyline boundary for a region in your drawing you want to assign with a Zoning category.



Go to the Zoning Manager for your project. Select the category you want, then click Place.

Zoning Manager, Place button




The cursor will turn into a pickbox.



You can now click an existing closed polyline area to place your zone within this area. You can also:

  • Begin drawing a closed polyline area. Your hatch will be applied to this area once you close it.
  • Type M for Multiple: This option allows you to select one or more closed polyline areas within your hatch boundary and exclude them from the hatch.


If you type M for "Multiple," the cursor will change to a pickbox that will allow you to make a polyline selection.The bounding polyline will automatically be converted to a non-plot layer, and the area will receive the zone's selected hatch or color.



If you want to draw a zone "on the fly," simply start drawing your closed polyline. Once you close it, the hatched area will appear within the polyline boundary.

In previous versions, drawing your hatch boundary on the fly would require you to first type D for Draw. We've now built in the ability to simply start drawing your closed polyline. As long as the first point you select isn't an existing polyline, the Draw command will be fired automatically.

This feature works with all our hatch types, including:

Editing a Zoning Category

To edit a zone, select it in the Zoning Manager and click Edit.

Zoning Manager, Edit button




You can also use our Edit Object/Block Data tool to select a zone you've already placed in your drawing. This tool opens a pickbox, which you can use to select a zone in your drawing to edit.


F/X Site ribbon, Edit Object button



The Edit Zone dialog box will open.



Edit Zone dialog box

Here, you can make any necessary changes or additions to the zone.

For a breakdown of information you can add or change, see Adding or Editing Data above.




Selecting a New Hatch or Color


To select a new hatch or color for the zone, click the Symbol area.

Selecting a new hatch or color for a Zone




Hatch dialog box

You'll be brought to the Hatch dialog box, where you can select a new hatch or color for the selected Zoning category.




Editing a Placed Zone

You can edit a zone you've already placed in a drawing by selecting it using the Edit Object/Block Data tool.




Open the Edit Object/Block Data tool:



F/X Site Edit Object button


F/X Site ribbon, Edit Object button



F/X Planting ribbon, Edit Plant button


F/X Planting ribbon, Edit Plant button








or type FX_PlantInfo in the Command line




The cursor will turn into a pickbox, and you'll be prompted to Select Object.


Click the interior or boundary of the zone to select it.

Click interior or boundary of zone to select it




The Edit Zone dialog box will open, allowing you to edit data for the selected zone category or select a new hatch or color.

Adding a Custom Color

Don't see the exact color you want? You can add your own custom color using our Site Color tool. Our default color wheels are now connected to tools that use True Color hatches, such as Zoning.

If you've previously added True Colors using the Hatch dialog box, note that this feature is no longer available as of our updarte of the Site Color wheels and you won't see your custom colors. If so, here's what to do to get your True Colors back.

Creating a Zoning Schedule

After you've placed your various Zoning categories, you can generate a schedule by clicking Schedule in the Zoning Manager.

ZOning Manager, Schedule button




Schedule destinations

Select one of the following destinations for your schedule:

  • Drawing
  • Table
  • Spreadsheet




Select Drawing to place the schedule directly in your drawing, as pictured below.


Drawing (table with non-plot gridlines) destination option



Select Table to place the schedule in your drawing in table format, as pictured below.


Table (table with plotting gridlines) schedule destination




Select the Spreadsheet option to send the drawing to a spreadsheet program you have installed on your computer, such as MS Excel, for further editing.


Spreadsheet schedule destination



Schedule Text in Uppercase (or Upper and Lowercase)

You can control whether the text in any of your schedules appears in all uppercase, or in upper and lowercase, from the General Preferences. For instructions, please see our Schedule Text in Uppercase article.

This setting will apply to all schedules you place in your drawings, including:

  • Plant Schedule
  • Irrigation Schedule
  • Details Schedule
  • Site schedules such as:
    • Reference Notes (RefNotes) Schedule
    • Lighting Schedule
    • Concept Schedule
    • Zoning Schedule
    • Site Development Schedule
    • Grading Schedule



Work Areas and Zoning Schedules

Functioning essentially as drawings within a drawing, Work Areas allow you to divide your site into a number of distinct areas. In this way, you can break up your design into separate regions, phases, scope-of-work requirements, and virtually any other way you can imagine. This feature makes it possible to limit any of your site schedules, including the Zoning Schedule, to specific Work Areas. You can also break up your schedule to show separate summaries of Zoning items in each Work Area. For information on dividing your Zoning schedule (or any other site schedule) in this way, visit our Limiting Zoning Schedules With Work Areas documentation section.


Create a Background Fill or Mask for your Schedules

Some designers want to give their schedules a background fill to allow it to pop from the rest of the drawing. You can create a background fill for your schedule using the Table Style Manager. Find out how. >

Land Calculations and Zoning Measurements

Question: I'm using the Zoning tool to generate different areas for cost estimates and other land area calculations we have to do. The measurement output for the schedules comes out in hectares. Can this output be changed to square meters? Or is there another way to do costing for other than plant materials and turf?


Answer: The way the software currently operates, the Zoning tools is used for land planning, where the quantities are in hectares, with the additional options of Units/Hectare, or Floor Area Ratio.


Meanwhile, the Site Development tools look at land areas exclusively in terms of square meters and assume you are adding a cost per square meter.


We're planning on blurring the distinction between these different modules, as users have expressed a desire to mix and match. But in the meantime, it sounds as if you would be better served with the Site Development tools.


Note that you can also just use Reference Notes (RefNotes) to create objects that are measured in square footage (or meters, etc.). You can accomplish this using Area/Volume Reference Notes, to which you can assign either a hatch or a color, as well as a cost. The benefit of the RefNotes function is that it makes it easier to also add costs for items that are priced by length, individual, etc.



Question: I just put a schedule down on my drawings, and the schedule automatically lists the zones as acres. Is there a way to change it to list the square footage instead?

Answer: The total quantities for a Zoning plan are typically presented in acres. Zones that have a FAR percentage entered will list that value in square feet.

Importing Zoning Graphics from a Template or Project

If you find yourself adding the same Zoning Graphics to multiple projects, we recommend setting up a project template and then adding your commonly used Zoning Graphics to that template. You can then import them into a new project from that template. This practice can save you immeasurable amounts of time, considering all the data you need to fill out for each Zoning Graphic you create. With templates, you only need to add and configure your Zoning Graphics once, then import them – along with all attached data – into the present project.

The following steps also apply to importing Zoning Graphics from regular Land F/X projects. However, we recommend setting up and importing from a template – mainly because templates are set up to be read-only. This means you can rest assured that the data in your templates hasn't changed when you import your Zoning Graphics into a project.


To import Zoning Graphics into the current project, click the Import button in the Zoning Manager.

Zoning Manager, Import button




The Select Project dialog box will open.



Importing Zoning categories, selecting a project or template

Select the template or project that includes the Zoning categories you want to import.



Click OK.




You'll now see a dialog box that lists all Zoning categories included in the template or project you selected.


Highlight the categories you want to import, and click Add to Project to add them to the current project. You can select multiple categories by pressing the CTRL key (Windows keyboard) or Command key (Mac) while selecting.



Click Done when finished.

Importing Zoning categories




The Zoning Manager will now include the categories you've imported.



Those items, and all their data, are now added to your project, and you can place them as needed.

Related Webinars

  • Tools at Early Design: Learn how our Zoning and Concept Graphics tools can be used to illustrate the designer’s intent for a site, while working quickly within CAD, from nothing more than a satellite image. (1 hr 2 min)
  • Land Planning and Site Builder Tools: This webinar covers the effective use of our Zoning and Concept Graphics tools, such as generating a Zoning Schedule to calculate density, area, and number of units. (53 min)


Issue: Unable to see hatches (including Zoning hatches) or colorized plants in a 3D model (AutoCAD or Civil 3D)


Issue: You are unable to send your Zoning Schedule to an Excel spreadsheet


Issue: Work Areas are not recognizing or calculating a Zoning hatch


Issue: The screen flashes several times when you place a Zoning Schedule in Paper Space


Issue: Text in the Zoning Schedule columns is overlapping


Issue: Unable to reconstitute a hatch area, quantity will be inaccurate error message when attempting to run a Zoning Schedule


Issue: CAD freezes or lags after you place a Zoning Schedule

Last modified on Monday, 20 June 2022 14:12

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