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Orlando, Florida Eminent Domain Blog

Understanding the different ways property is zoned

The overall purpose of zoning regulations is for the health and safety of the community and to regulate growth. In general, zoning laws, which include zoning ordinances and land use regulations, are used to control the use of property. Since zoning laws impact the owner's use of their property they are important for property owners to understand and be familiar with.

Commercial zoning laws can impact the conduct of a business by controlling the type of activities a business can conduct in a certain area and the category of business that may operate in a particularly- zoned area. Zoning laws also regulate the features of the building that are permitted on the property and other considerations as well including setbacks from the street, parking and other considerations.

How to respond to threats of eminent domain

Eminent domain is a serious concern, and may be a serious threat, to property owners which is why they should understand how it works and how to challenge a government taking if that is what they want to do. Many different types of property owners may be faced with eminent domain concerns so it is helpful to be familiar with the ins and outs of eminent domain and what it means for them.

Private property owners; homeowners; business owners; corporations; associations; agribusiness; utility owners; and others may all face eminent domain concerns. Eminent domain refers to the taking of property by the government for public use. Eminent domain has a significant impact on the property owner's property rights and ownership of the property which is why property owners of all kinds should be familiar with the different legal options available when they are threatened with a taking of their property.

Can the government take my property and give it to someone else?

Eminent domain allows the government to take (condemn) private citizens’ property for “public use.” Though the government must compensate the property owners fairly, conflicts can easily arise out of the situation.

One aspect of eminent domain that is especially contentious is the practice of transferring condemned property to third-party developers—for purposes that are not public use. In Florida, the state legislature has tried to protect property owners from this practice.

Addressing commercial zoning challenges

If a commercial property is not zoned for a particular use the business has planned for it, there are different options the business may want to consider to help them with their land use concerns. Land use laws can help with rezoning, conditional use exceptions and appeals so businesses and commercial property owners should be familiar with the legal options that can help them.

When a particular zoning ordinance prohibits a particular use, there are different options including pursuing relief from a zoning board or board of appeals. The zoning board can grant either conditional use permits or variances for nonconforming uses. In circumstances of a conditional use permit, the board can condition permission of a specific activity in a zone on the fulfillment of a condition or set of conditions. A variance, if permitted, can provide an exception to a zoning regulation.

Understanding contracts is useful for real estate transactions

Contracts are an important part of the real estate process which is why they are important for anyone engaged in a real estate transaction to understand. Real estate litigation can be a financial, emotional and time drain on a real estate transaction or project so it is helpful to understand how to handle a real estate dispute, as well as to understand contracts and the role they play because many real estate disputes can be contract- based.

At its most basic level, a contract is an agreement between parties. Contracts define the rights and obligations of the parties to one another. Parties to a contract must be competent to enter a contract for it to be valid and there must be mutual agreement between the parties. It is also best to have a contract in writing for a number important legal reasons parties to a contract should be familiar with.

What are the different ways to challenge zoning rules?

Zoning regulations can have a significant impact on the use of the property owner's property and on their property rights generally. As a result, when property owners are facing a zoning regulation they believe will negatively impact the use of their property or their property rights, they may wonder what to do. Land use law can help.

There are different ways to address concerns involving zoning regulations and one way is to pursue an exception for the landowner and the other option is to challenge the zoning ordinance as unconstitutional or improper. Occasionally, property that has been used in a certain way may continue to be used in that manner even after a new zoning ordinance is passed. If a zoning ordinance has been passed, if the property has historically been used in a different way, the property owner may be permitted in some circumstances to continue to use the property in the same way after the new ordinance is passed. This may allow the property owner to continue in a lawful nonconforming use or what is referred to as an existing use.

How do I challenge a taking through eminent domain?

Eminent domain refers to when the property of a private property owner is taken for public use. This is a big step to have your property taken so property owners facing an eminent domain taking of their property likely have many questions and should know how to challenge eminent domain if they think it is not fair.

When property is taken from a property owner, they have certain rights that they must know how to protect. A property owner that is having their property taken must receive fair notice of the taking and have time to obtain legal advice and object to the proposed taking. The property owner must also have the opportunity to a fair hearing. The hearing helps to ensure the property owner's rights are protected as part of the eminent domain process.

How legal resources help get a real estate transaction on track

A lot can come up in a real estate transaction so it is important to be prepared and know what to expect. It is also important to have a strategy when facing one of the many real estate litigation concerns that can plague a real estate transaction and know how to respond to help get the real estate transaction back on track.

Real estate litigation disputes can arise from boundary conflicts; easement interpretations; title defects; failure to disclose defects; contract interpretations; enforcement of purchase agreements; zoning and land use problems; and concerns related to eminent domain. Each of these concerns can have a significant impact on a real estate transaction, especially if the parties to the transaction are concerned about how a dispute related to an easement or a zoning restriction, for example, will be resolved.

Southern Florida eminent domain fight heats up

There are many rules and regulations property owners should be aware of. Eminent domain is an important issue for property owners to understand. In Southern Florida, there is a current dispute that is related to the proposed development on oceanfront property. A company wanting to build on the oceanfront land is asserting that the city has deprived it of its right to build by failing to provide a fair hearing and brought a lawsuit against the municipality as a result.

The company is seeking to build a high rise on the oceanfront property, which has garnered some objections based on views potentially being blocked and fears that it would lead to increased development in the area. The company has the necessary state permits but not city permits to build. According to the company, when they went to the local city for a building permit the council cut their presentations short and voted to deny the company's request for an exception to an ordinance restricting beachfront development.

What disclosures are mandatory for Florida home sales

Selling a home is a time of great possibilities, of potential, of hope. But when you make plans to sell your home, it’s important to know what is expected of the seller.

Like most states, Florida requires sellers to make certain disclosures about the property’s condition and history. Courts have determined that sellers are in the best position to know the facts regarding the properties and should disclose those facts to the buyer or face legal liability.

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Callan Law Firm
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