Facts About Zoning Law

Sometimes it seems as easy as "buying a big enough house, that can then be partially rented out in order to pay for mortgage payments." However, this plan might not always work, as zoning restrictions for a specific area may not permit certain modifications or a certain use of property.

If you are buying real estate or if you would like to make certain adjustments to your home, contact one of our zoning law attorneys in your area.

What is Zoning?

In order to physically control the development of land and how each piece of land will be used, the government zones the land. Generally, there are four categories of zones:

  • Residential
  • Industrial
  • Recreational
  • Commercial

Within each zones, there are more specifications that then further define how the land is used. For example, an R-3 residential zone could only permit duplex or apartment complexes instead of single-family homes.

Zoning is a county, city or municipal affair. For that reason, it is not uncommon to have different classifications of zoning and there may be different rules and regulations governing zoning from one part of town to the other.

The Implications of Zoning

Many people have bought real estate property with the intention of renting parts of the building for specific use. If the property is located in a sole residential area, for example, renting out space for office use may be illegal and could be prosecuted by the government.

If any improvements or additions have been made to your house after its original construction, you should have a complete understanding as to what exactly has been done and more important, whether these modifications have been approved. If not, you may face costly repairs or the tear down of the house.

Hot Topics

  • Property Law
  • Foreclosure
  • Property Tax
  • Commercial real estate

If you have questions regarding zoning or for legal inquiries, contact one of our zoning law attorneys.

Did You Know?

Zoning documents are public records.

Before you step into hot legal waters, visit your local zoning office, city hall or a related institution and ask for your local ordinance. Zoning maps and ordinances will be able to identify the legal use for your specific property. You may be able to find zoning maps online or you can call the zoning department if you have adequate description of the property.

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