I have argued before why zoning laws are inconsistent with a free society's principles, in particular with the principle of private property rights. Basically they amount to impositions by some people on others of conditions for using property that the owner is authorized to determine. No one else has that right, however tempting and desirable it may appear to imagine otherwise.
But what about the perfectly honorable wish to have a nice neighborhood in which to live, work and play? How, besides by means of zoning ordinances, could people protect their neighborhoods?
Before answering this question it must be noted, quite emphatically, that zoning ordinances by no means achieve what their advocates claim justifies their use.