Deciding what land can be used and for what purpose has a great impact on the development of a certain area as well as the health of the people who live there. Because of these factors, land use law can become extremely contentious. Florida citizens may want to know how land use law works and what they may be allowed to do or prohibited from doing.

Zoning

One of the most well-known aspects of land use law is that of zoning. There is a reason that people don’t see a large shopping center constructed in the middle a residential neighborhood; the local government has the area zoned as residential.

The concept of zoning can be traced back to the early 1900s when unregulated urbanization started creating unhealthy drinking water. Sunlight was also becoming blocked out, and there was a large overcrowding issue. While these laws were controversial because they limited what a private landowner could do with his or her land, they were put in place for the greater good of society.

Planning and commission

In an ideal situation, local governments create a plan for the way that land within their jurisdiction will be used in the future. Known as a comprehensive land use plan, these written plans have a direct impact on the zoning laws that are passed in a certain area.

Courts

There are times when courts have to get involved in a land use case. One such case occurred in Illinois when a local court ruled that a specific land use law was unconstitutional. There are times where a landowner can gain a victory over local government if certain criteria are met.

It is advisable to work with an attorney who is well-versed in land use law should the need for litigation arise. An attorney may review the claim of their client and compare it to existing cases in search for a precedent.