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How Can a Real Estate Lawyer Help with Understanding Zoning Laws?


September 13, 2022 ( Newswire) When it comes to real estate, there are a lot of laws and regulations that you need to be aware of, and zoning is just one type of law that can impact your land and property acquisitions. It is important to understand such laws because they affect what can be built on a piece of property and how that property can be used. Whether you're buying, selling, or leasing property, a real estate lawyer on your side can help you understand land use law and make sure you're in compliance.

Zoning Classification

The most common types of classifications include residential, industrial, commercial, and agricultural. Each type of classification has its own set of restrictions regarding what types of activities are allowed on the property.

For example, a residentially zoned property will typically have restrictions on the height of buildings, the density of development, and the types of businesses that are allowed to operate there. A commercially zoned property will usually have fewer restrictions than a residentially zoned property, but there will still be some limits on what can be built and operated there.  Also, an industrial zoned property will have different restrictions than a commercial or residential property. It's important to understand the zoning classification of any property you're considering buying, selling, or leasing because it can affect the value of the property and what you're able to do with it.

Variances and Special Exceptions

Another way a real estate lawyer can help with understanding zoning laws is by assisting with applications for variances or special exceptions from local ordinances. A special exception is similar to a variance in that it allows you to deviate from the requirements of an ordinance; however, a special exception typically requires approval from a board or commission whereas a variance does not. An example of when you might need to apply for a special exception would be if you wanted to open a daycare center in a residential area. Specials Applying for a variance or special exception can be a complicated process, so it is important to have a legal team helping you through it.

Zoning Changes and Enforcement of Zoning Laws

Zoning is always subject to change, and these changes can have a significant impact on your property. For example, if you own a commercial property that is zoned for office space and the city decides to rezone the area for residential use, your property value will decrease because you will no longer be able to use it for commercial purposes. If you are in the process of buying or selling a property, it is important to have a lawyer who can keep track of any changes in the zoning laws and make sure that the transaction is still in compliance. Another way they can help with understanding zoning laws is by representing clients who are facing enforcement action from their local municipality. If you have been cited for violating a zoning ordinance, you could be facing fines, imprisonment, or both.


Zoning laws are complex and ever-changing, so it is important to have a real estate lawyer on your side who can help you understand and comply with them. They can also assist with applications for variances or special exceptions and can represent clients who are facing enforcement action from their local municipality. And finally, lawyers can keep track of changes in the zoning laws to make sure that transactions are still in compliance.

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