If you live in Florida and you own a piece of property, you might wonder how zoning areas are determined and what they mean. Zoning is generally thought of as being only about whether a piece of property can be used for residential or commercial purposes, but there is a great deal to more to it than just that.
What zoning affects
A zoning ordinance may also have other requirements for structures on a piece of property. It might specify how high buildings can be or how dense an area is allowed to be. Zoning ordinances can be used to change the nature of a neighborhood. For example, a city might change a strictly residential or commercial area to one of mixed zoning to encourage both businesses and housing to thrive. Zoning can change how much congestion or pollution an area experiences as well. It may also regulate alterations to existing buildings. For example, in a historical area, there might be a zoning ordinance in place to protect the character of the architecture.
Why zoning matters
It is sometimes possible to apply for and receive a variance, which is essentially an exception to a zoning rule. Zoning in general can be very controversial because of how much it may change an area, sometimes to its detriment in the opinion of people who live or work there. Zoning issues could also affect the value of a property.
People who are having problems with zoning ordinances or larger issues of land use may want to contact an attorney. Depending on the type of property and the exact nature of the issue, these disputes can be both emotionally and financially draining for property owners. An attorney might be able to explain an owner’s rights regarding land use in a particular situation and help them in taking the necessary legal steps to exercise and protect those rights.