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Zoning Violations: Your Legal Rights as a Property Owner

By Zane S. Froerer on April 02, 2018

Blueprints and development with construction cranesOur Ogden-based attorneys have years of experience helping people throughout the state of Utah. Whether our clients are accident victims seeking compensation for their medical expenses, parents making child custody arrangements, or business owners drafting contracts, our lawyers can help.

For home owners and business owners, we offer a number of services related to real estate law. Among these legal services, we can help people who have received zoning violations understand the appeals process and their legal options moving forward. Let’s cover some of the basics of these issues right now.

Why Zoning Ordinances Exist

Zoning laws exist to determine the ways that certain properties in geographic regions can be used. In addition to determining residential or commercial use, zoning laws can also determine the size of structures, the height of buildings, and so forth. Violations of zoning laws can lead to fines and other penalties.

Ultimately, zoning codes are in place to promote safety and the public good. Yet keep in mind that some zoning ordinances may not take into account the needs of home or business owners, or the nature of the land/lot being used, which is why appeals can be made if you have received a zoning violation.

Overgrown Lawn and Weeds

A number of zoning laws cover safety hazards to the public related to overgrown lawns, weeds, and other foliage around a property. If any greenery or landscaping elements on a property pose a hazard, it’s important that these matters be addressed in a timely manner.

Trash and Debris Around Property

As with overgrown lawns, trash or debris around a property could pose a health hazard to neighbors and businesses nearby. Unsanitary conditions simply cannot be tolerated. This refuse must be disposed of in a proper manner rather than left out by a property.

Nuisance Violations

Nuisance violations can encapsulate factors related to the two previous matters. In essence, nuisance violations refer to any conditions on a property that result in some condition that results in a property being detrimental to the neighborhood. This might include graffiti, off-putting odors, dead trees, and so forth.

Over-Occupancy Violations

Over-occupancy violations are somewhat self-explanatory. In these cases, the number of people in a single residential property may lead to unsafe living conditions as well as difficulties to neighbors in the area.

Non-Permitted Uses of Property

Properties are generally considered residential or commercial, determining if they are intended as a dwelling or as a business. If a business if being run out of a residential property and vice versa, a zoning violation may be issued. The use of a building or portions of a building may be specific to the location of the property and its design as well.

What to Do If You Receive a Zoning Violation

If you receive a zoning violation, it is important that you read through it carefully. The notice of the violation will detail the ordinance and likely offer some suggestion on how the matter may be rectified. Contact the zoning administrator within the timeframe specified in the notice.

When a zoning violation has been issued in error, it is possible to appeal. Any appeals must be filed within the deadline specified by the zoning violation notice. Having the legal guidance of a skilled attorney can be helpful during this process, particularly if going to court over the matter seems like a possibility.

Learn More About Your Legal Rights

For more information about your legal rights and options, be sure to contact experienced real estate law attorneys today. We look forward to discussing these matters with you and helping you make the right choices with regard to your legal options.

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