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Zoning restrictions and your property

| Oct 23, 2020 | Zoning

When you purchase property in Georgia, you probably do so with a specific use in mind. Perhaps you want to build a commercial building, or maybe you want to build a home for your family. Even if you own the property outright, there are typically limits to what you can do with it based on local zoning designations. Before you move forward, you need to know everything about the specific type of property you want to buy.

It may surprise you to learn about the restrictions placed on your property simply because of the type of zoning category. Developing property is an expensive and time-consuming endeavor, which means you need to understand your rights as the property owner and how they may conflict with land use regulations. In some complex situations, the assistance of an attorney is useful.

How do zoning restrictions work?

By zoning property in different ways, a local government is protecting the integrity of certain areas. For example, a developer cannot build a gas station in an area designated only for residential structures. Zones function as a way to designate specific areas for commercial, residential and industrial use. Additional restrictions on the basis of zoning designations can include:

  • Type of buildings allowed in certain areas
  • Use of accessory buildings
  • How far structures must be set from the road
  • Placement and visibility of utility lines
  • Number of rooms allowed in a structure
  • Size, height and overall look of the buildings

You may also find that zoning restrictions will limit certain things like parking, how many buildings you can have on your property and more. These restrictions could take you by surprise, seriously impacting the plans you have for your property. Zoning laws can sometimes be controversial, especially if you feel like the restrictions are needless or unfair, and there are times when property owners may need to seek legal options regarding how they can protect their rights.

Protecting your rights

Shielding your property rights is only one reason why you may benefit from working with an experienced real estate and land use attorney when purchasing and developing property. If you believe that your rights are unfairly limited or you have concerns with local zoning laws, you may want to start with an assessment of your case. This first step allows you to understand your legal options and identify the most appropriate way forward to resolve your concerns in a beneficial manner.