If you own, or are thinking of purchasing, a piece of land and you want to build a new structure on that land, you must understand zoning laws and how they affect what you are legally allowed to do with it.
The Basics of Zoning
Zoning is the legal process of dividing land into zones for different uses. Zoning laws regulate the land and any structures located or built on it, and they exist to protect the health, safety and general welfare of people in regards to the land. Zones are established in order to determine the most appropriate uses for land, keeping in mind the best interests of citizens, while also allowing for development of cities and infrastructure.
If the property in question has already been zoned (as commercial, residential, or agricultural, for example), but building on it would not comply with the rules set forth for that classification, a legal zoning change must be approved. For example, purchasing farmland that is zoned as agricultural with the intention of building a new housing subdivision would require rezoning to residential use. Zoning changes require governmental approval, which can be a difficult process. A qualified attorney, like those at Churchill, Quinn, Richtman & Hamilton, can assist in thoroughly preparing your case to present to the planning and zoning board, likely improving your chances of approval.
What is Required for a Zoning Change Approval
Zoning committees put a lot of thought into how properties are zoned and they have the best interest of the community in mind. When considering a zoning change, they typically look at how it will affect the surrounding area and its citizens. Factors such as the amount of new traffic that would be created, the aesthetic component and expected tax revenue could all be considered. Public opinion can also play a big role in the approval process, with groups such as homeowners associations, school boards, parent groups and others all contributing their input to the decision.
Completion of required documents, committee presentations and community acceptance are just some of the many hurdles that need to be overcome in order to successfully be granted a zoning change. At Churchill, Quinn, Richtman & Hamilton, we can provide our knowledge and experience with successful zoning appeals to help you succeed in advancing your project. Contact us at 847-223-1500 for more information.