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Understanding land use and zoning laws

On Behalf of | Jan 17, 2019 | Land Use |

Land use and zoning regulations govern the use and development of property and, as such, impact the property rights of landowners. As a result, property owners should be familiar with land use and zoning laws in their area and what to do if they need to request a rezoning.

Zoning regulations control and direct development of property within the borders of a city or municipality. Cities and municipalities are typically divided into residential, commercial and industrial districts, which are typically kept separate but not in every instance. Zoning regulations can specify the types of buildings allowed in a particular area; restrictions on accessory buildings and building setbacks from the streets and other boundaries; the size and height of buildings; the number of rooms in buildings; and the location of utility lines.

Additional zoning regulations can address frontage lots; the minimum lot area; front, rear and side yards; off-street parking; the number of buildings on a lot; and the number of dwelling units in a certain area. Zoning regulations may also restrict homes to single-family homes or multi-family units and townhomes. There may be limits to the ability of governments to regulate property through zoning laws, so property owners seeking to challenge zoning requirements should be familiar with those potential limits.

There are different options and strategies when it comes to challenging a zoning regulation, but the process can be complex, which is why trained guidance can be useful for property owners to help them navigate the process. Property rights are important rights to safeguard, and legal options are available to help property owners with their land use concerns.