Zoning & Land Use Issues

Zoning and land use laws come into play in every real estate development, whether large or small. Before buying real estate property or making major improvements to property you currently own, it is absolutely essential that you know about and understand the existing zoning and land use restrictions.

As a general rule, specified land uses are compatible. You cannot, for example, put in a dairy herd, a shopping mall or an office building on land zoned for residential use. It is sometimes possible to persuade local authorities to change the zoning for a particular area, but it can be very difficult, very expensive and it can take a long time. In some cases it is possible to secure a zoning variance. A variance is in the nature of an “exemption” for the particular parcel of real estate, from a particular zoning requirement. Zoning changes and variances both involve extremely complex and difficult legal and political skills and often require public hearings before governmental agencies.


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