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The basics of zoning laws

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Zoning laws have a significant impact on use and development of land. For that reason, it is useful to be familiar with the basics of zoning laws when considering the purchase or sale of property or if a zoning regulation is having an impact on property that is already owned.

How property may be used

Zoning regulations are used by governments to control and manage the development of land and how property may be used. Zoning laws are commonly used to specify that certain areas can be used for residential, industrial, or commercial activities. In some circumstances, mixed-uses may be permitted. Common categories for zoning laws include residential, industrial, commercial, and agricultural.

Zoning regulations may also be used to restrict the use of land or building and may regulate dimensional requirements for lots and buildings; the density of development; or if certain animals can be on the property. Zoning laws may not always be uniform. Zoning is done at the county, city, or municipal level.

At times, property owners may not want to comply with zoning laws. Zoning laws are not always permanent. There may be options to grandfather or to seek a variance not to comply with the particular zoning regulation. Exceptions can be made in some circumstances. There may be instances when a property owner may not want to follow a zoning regulation. For that reason, they should be familiar with real estate laws and how may be able to help them with zoning concerns and other concerns as well.