What Does Zoning Mean?
When a developer purchases property to improve, there are restrictions in place that determine what can and cannot be built. Zoning is a way that local governments can keep tabs on how many types of developments may be created within their jurisdiction. It stops the overdevelopment of one property use versus another. While the process for designating what can be built on a plot of land may differ from one city to another, there are some general similarities to keep in mind. Land Use and Zoning lawyer ChesCo, PA can answer specific questions you may have concerning land use and zoning.
How zoning impacts the land use
Vacant land is usually subdivided by way of zoning ordinances. These are legal decrees that formally establish how developers may improve the land in the subdivision. There is typically an ordinance for each lot within the larger development. Zoning ordinances are beneficial for many reasons. They ensure that developers do not build incompatible improvements adjacent to each other. For instance, zoning stops a gas station from being built on the lot next to a single-family home. These ordinances also protect the environment by making sure that sufficient natural habitat is preserved for every development.
Examples of zoning designations
There are many considerations a planning and zoning board takes into account when setting out how the property will be developed. First, the viability of the property to support a specific zoning designation is considered. They ask questions such as:
- Does the property support endangered wildlife habitats?
- Is the soil dense enough for single-family homes?
- Do the properties surrounding this drain here?
- How many commercial developments already exist within the city?
Engineers conduct extensive studies to give the government answers to these questions. They then create zoning districts such as commercial, residential, conservation, drainage and industrial. These are then placed in appropriate areas of the property for use by developers.
Getting a piece of property rezoned
Once an ordinance is issued, can it be changed? While the answer is almost always yes, the process is not simple. Much of that depends on the designation a particular plot of land is given within the entire development. Getting a plat of land zoned for single-family homes converted to commercial may be more complicated than having it rezoned for multi-family or recreational use. A Land Use and Zoning lawyer ChesCo, PA from Hoegen & Associates, P.C will guide you in all your land conversion queries and concerns.
When a developer wants to purchase land to build up, a real estate lawyer becomes an integral part of the process. Finding one in the city where the build is to occur is crucial to ensuring that all local zoning laws are followed. At ChesCo PA, Hoegen & Associates, P.C are professional land use and zoning lawyers. Contact us today.