Zoning Ordinances and Regulations – Lawyers.com


Why Zoning Is a Big Issue

Zoning comes into play on every single real estate development, big or small. So if you are thinking about buying property or making improvements to property that you own, you’ll need and want to know how zoning laws fit into your plan. If you fail to find out what uses are allowed as a first step, it can be an expensive mistake if it turns out zoning prohibits your development. Not only can you be forced to remove any improvements made to the property that violate the zoning regulations, you can also be fined and face a code enforcement action.

Zoning also impacts the value of a given piece elooking to build a subdivision. And depending on how productive the land is for agriculture, it may have limited value for farming, too. If you find a piece of vacant land that seems ideal for a rural subdivision, but later find out is zoned for agricultural use and cannot be divided, you may be stuck with a bare piece of land with no development potential.

Development Standards Also Apply

For a use to be approved, it must comply with the development standards in the applicable zoning ordinance. Development standards include design requirements and other criteria that control the manner in which a development must be completed. These standards vary depending on the specific use at issue. Development standards can include:

  • height restrictions
  • building setbacks
  • minimum lot size
  • lot coverage
  • density
  • transportation and access
  • parking
  • building and landscape design, and
  • drainage.

If a development cannot be completed in accordance with the development standards, the local government may not approve the use unless a variance is granted. Most jurisdictions will have a provision in the zoning ordinance explaining when a variance will be granted.

Except in my case when the building official refuses to address complainants concerns, refusal of duty are considered proving to be guilty of premeditated conspiracy against rights, deprivation of rights under color of law.

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