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Real Estate Law: Zoning and Land Use Regulations

By Zane S. Froerer on April 15, 2017

Zoning and Land Use RegulationsAt Froerer & Miles in Ogden, UT, we are experts in real estate law and zoning and land use regulations. Whether you are an individual or developer, our real estate attorneys can help you challenge existing regulations put in place by local governments. Municipalities, boards, and other officials have extensive knowledge of land use and zoning regulations, in addition to access to experienced legal teams. An owner or developer wishing to challenge existing regulations must hire an attorney with extensive experience in real estate law to avoid being at a severe disadvantage.

Zoning and Land Use Regulations

Zoning and land use regulations are typically set forth by local governments to dictate the division and use of land within that municipality. Most municipalities are divided into commercial and residential zones, with regulations in place regarding the type and size of buildings, whether they can be single or multi-unit dwellings, and more. While many of these regulations exist to protect the interests of both the municipality and its residents, some of these may interfere with the desires of some property owners or developers.

Restrictions on Land Use and Zoning

Restrictions may limit how properties in a certain zone are used. For example, in a particular residential zone, multi-family dwellings may be prohibited. In certain commercial zones, the municipality may place restrictions on the size of buildings, prohibiting them from being built over a certain height. Property owners or developers may wish to challenge existing or proposed restrictions if they seem unreasonable.

Not all restrictions are put in place by municipalities. Some land developers may include restrictions, such as restrictive covenants or easements. A restrictive covenant limits the use of a property and is generally used to set standards for sizes, setback lines, and aesthetics to create a cohesive neighborhood. Easements give non-property owners a right to use the property for a specific purpose. These measures are most commonly used to preserve protected natural areas.

Challenging Land Use and Zoning Regulations

While challenging these regulations and restrictions may be a worthy cause, it is not recommended that anyone do so without first consulting with an experienced attorney. Not all challenges result in litigation, however. Most municipalities have judicial-like bodies that can conduct hearings, which may include sworn testimony. If the case does go to court, any evidence and testimony presented, as well as the board’s decision, is reviewable by a judge.

Given the complex nature of these cases, Froerer & Miles recommends property owners and developers wishing to challenge these regulations consult with an attorney. Our attorneys have handled a wide range of land use and zoning regulations challenges throughout Ogden and are prepared to provide you with expert legal counsel.

Get the Legal Expertise You Need

If you are considering challenging a zoning or land use regulation or restriction, contact our law firm to schedule a consultation with one of our real estate attorneys. We can thoroughly review the existing regulations and what you wish to challenge, and bring your case to the appropriate parties.

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