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The basics of zoning laws

On Behalf of | Dec 15, 2021 | Municipal & Public Agency Law, Real Estate Transactions |

Zoning laws are used for planning and the development of cities and municipalities and can have a significant impact on the use of property and may also impact the value of property. For that reason, it is useful for property owners to be familiar with what zoning laws are and what zoning regulations do that may impact them.

Zoning law basics

Zoning laws primarily divide cities and municipalities into zoning, commercial and industrial zones. There may also be some mixed-use zones. Additionally, there may be different categories of zoning such as single family and multi-family zoning for residential properties. Zoning regulations are intended to keep certain areas zoned in a specific category uniform.

Examples of zoning regulations can include the type of buildings allowed on the property; restrictions on the number of buildings permitted on a single lot; restrictions on accessory buildings; restrictions on building setbacks and other boundaries; restrictions on the size and height of buildings; restrictions on the number of rooms the building can have; specifications for the location of utility lines; specifications for lot frontage and side yards; regulations of off-street parking; or restrictions on the number of dwelling units in an area.

Zoning laws are intended for the regulation of development but can sometimes get in the way of the property owner’s use of the property. It may be possible to purse a variance or seek to have the property in question re-zoned which are options property owners troubled by a zoning regulation and its impact on their property should be familiar with. Real estate laws, and knowledge of them, can help property owners navigate these and other land use and development concerns and challenges.