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Zoning Law Questions (Part One)

By Stephen M. Bennett November 20, 2017

Real Estate

Zoning Laws Are Preventing Me From Using My Property the Way I Want.  What do I do?

The first step in seeking resolution from the effect of a local municipality’s zoning laws is understanding the law or regulation’s purpose.  Zoning laws and regulations specify different zoning classifications for parcels of real property in a municipality.

Popular classifications include residential, commercial, industrial, or open space classifications.  Each will regulate the minimum lot size, placement, structural density, and most importantly, what the landowner can actually use the property for.  Additionally, each classification may have sub-classifications that further define and restrict the uses of those types of property.

When do I need a rezoning?

Often a landowner wants to use their land for a use that is not allowed under their current zoning classification.  Perhaps the property is currently zoned for residential uses only but the owner wants to open a small business on the property.  Perhaps the property is already zoned for a business use but the business the landowner wants to open is actually an industrial use.

In situations like these, rezoning the property in question from one use to another use can resolve the issue with the relevant zoning ordinance.

How do I have my property rezoned?

Each municipality requires the landowner submit a written application for rezoning.  While specific requirements may vary, the landowner will need to demonstrate that the proposed rezoning is consistent with goals of that municipality’s land development policies and will have a minimal, impact on surrounding properties.

After applying, the landowner will need to have a hearing before that municipality’s legislative body on whether the application should be granted.

A rezoning is a difficult and daunting matter to face if you’re a landowner.  At Helms Robison Lee & Bennett, P.A. we have several real property attorneys well-versed in all aspects of land use problems, including how to seek and secure the rezoning of property.  Call us at 704.289.4577 and we will be happy to help!

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