What purpose do zoning laws and regulations serve?
Government officials, city planners, business owners and residents all have a stake in ensuring a city or community remains a place where people want to live, work and visit. Zoning regulations, restrictions and laws play a major role in helping ensure development within cities and communities adheres to city planning guidelines and goes through the proper approval channels prior to development.
Under zoning regulations, specific areas or zones within a city or community are designated for specific use. Different areas of a city are zoned for residential, commercial or industrial use. Thoughtful planning related to zoning regulations is critical to ensuring for the health and safety of residents as well as the development of necessary and sufficient infrastructure to support residents, businesses and industrial facilities.
In addition to broad zoning regulations, development within a specific zoned area is also likely to be bound by certain restrictions and rules. For example an area that is zoned for residential use may include restrictions related to the development of only single-family dwellings. Additionally, restrictions may pertain to the size, height, cost and building materials used to build a home within a zoned area.
Given the many restrictions that often accompany zoning regulations, zoning disputes are fairly common and may be brought by residents, business owners or land developers. These types of disputes are especially common in cities and communities that are experiencing tremendous growth and may have outdated or seemingly arbitrary zoning restrictions.
An attorney who is well-versed in real estate legal matters can assist individual residents, business owners or land developers in challenging existing zoning regulations and restrictions.