How do zoning variance and rezoning affect property ownership?

On Behalf of | Jun 26, 2024 | Real Estate Disputes

Disputes are unfortunate yet common in real estate. These can range from boundary issues to more complex matters like zoning disputes. If your plans for your property do not align with zoning laws, how can the processes of zoning variance and rezoning impact your property’s use and value?

Reasons for zoning variance and rezoning

You can seek zoning variance if you want to use your property in a way that deviates from current zoning laws. Use variance will allow you to use your property for a purpose not typically permitted in the zone. In contrast, area variance will enable you to deviate from specific zoning requirements like setback or height restrictions.

To obtain a zoning variance, you must prove that:

  • The strict application of the zoning law causes unnecessary hardship.
  • The variance will not alter the neighborhood’s essential character.
  • The variance is not a result of your actions.

On the other hand, rezoning involves changing the zoning classification of a property. The process is more complex than obtaining a zoning variance and requires you to prove that there is a reasonable need for the proposed rezoning. In addition, the proposed rezoning must be consistent with the local government’s comprehensive plan and will not adversely affect the surrounding properties.

Applying for zoning variance and rezoning

Whether you want to seek zoning variance or rezoning, you must submit an application to the local zoning board to explain your request and present supporting documents. The local zoning board will hold a public hearing where you can present your case and the public can also voice their opinions on the matter. Then, the zoning board will make a decision. If the decision is not what you sought, you can appeal it.

Safeguarding your property rights

When zoning disputes arise, understanding real estate laws is crucial for safeguarding your property rights. In addition, seeking legal counsel may help you navigate the process and make informed decisions to ensure you can use your property in a way that best suits your needs.