Real Estate Attorney for Zoning Changes

November 25, 2019 — by John Conger
Tags: Real Estate Law Zoning Laws Land Use

A white fence in a field of grassZoning laws determine the way different types of properties can be used. Residential properties are meant to be lived in, while commercial properties are intended for businesses. Mixed-use properties can have business space on one level with residences above. Zoning laws will ensure that properties are safe and suitable for people within them as well as adjacent properties and their inhabitants, patrons, and visitors.

When disputes over zoning ordinances and land use arise, it’s important to speak with a real estate lawyer from Shore, McKinley, Conger & Jolley, LLP. With the face of the Bay Area changing, our Stockton and Walnut Creek, CA attorneys can give you the insight you need to ensure your property is covered by existing zoning laws, or to help you find smart ways around impediments caused by new zoning ordinances.

Disputes Over Proper Land Use

It may be ruled that the use of the land is not in accordance with its zoning designation, which means disputes can arise between property owners, businesses, and local governments. You may need to alter the property to meet new zoning requirements, or you simply may not be permitted to use the land as it has been used for many years prior to the dispute.

What to Do About Zoning Issues

It is possible for land owners to take different actions to ensure their property/land is used as they wish it to be used. There are a few different options worth considering:

  • Applying for a Change of Zoning - Land owners can apply for re-zoning of the property with the local jurisdiction. This process will involve a hearing in which the land owner can demonstrate reasons for the requested change.
  • Variances - Variances allow a property owner to use the land in a manner that deviates from the zoning designation. The property owner will usually need to demonstrate that current zoning laws would present a major impediment in the ability to make use of the land.
  • Non-Conforming Uses - Non-conforming use means that the property owner is able to use the property in a manner that would be in violation of the current zoning designation. These are usually given to people who were in the proper before new zoning laws were passed, essentially getting grandfathered in.
  • Conditional Use Permits - Conditional use permits are given to property owners whose presence in the space is considered something in the public interest.

The ideal approach to zoning and re-zoning issues will vary from place to place and from party to party.

How an Attorney Can Help

Zoning disputes and changes in land use can present you with a number of challenges. You may not even know where to start when it comes to addressing these matters. By working with a land use and zoning attorney, you can receive the insight you need to have these disputes addressed as soon as possible. Our lawyers can offer advice and guidance as you are attempting to retain your property and avoid various headaches regarding zoning ordinances and other laws.

Learn More About Real Estate and Zoning Law

For more information about legal matters related to zoning and real estate matters, be sure to contact our skilled real estate and zoning attorneys. You can reach our law offices in Stockton and Walnut Creek by calling (209) 477-8171.