This Florida land use and eminent domain legal blog has dedicated numerous informative articles to the discussion of zoning and how it impacts the way property owners may use their land. When a person buys a parcel of land they may be limited on what types of structures they can put on it and the purposes for which they may use their land. However, a person can run into zoning problems after they have purchased their land as well, particularly when municipal governments seek to change the zoning regulations that apply to the land owner's parcel.
Any changes that a municipality wishes to undertake with regard to zoning must be done in accordance with that municipality's actual powers and authority. For example, a municipality generally may not sneak a zoning change through its process and deprive land owners of knowing about the proposed change and offering their concerns during the consideration phase. If the municipality does then a land owner may challenge the zoning change on the basis of the municipality's actions.
Additionally, if a municipality changes a zoning scheme despite a land owner's knowledge and objections to it, that land owner may still have options. If the zoning change prevents the land owner from using the property as they need to, the change may be considered a taking of the property from the owner and may therefore require the municipality to compensate the land owner for their losses.
Zoning changes can mean big problems for land owners. When they threaten to affect individuals' property rights it can be important that property owners get help. Land use and zoning lawyers can guide them through the steps needed to protect their property interests and advocate for their rights.