What is a variance?

On Behalf of | Feb 7, 2019 | land use & zoning

Zoning is a topic that can frustrate those who work in the real estate field. While it is intended to provide land owners with the consistent use of similarly situated properties, zoning can thwart development and render parcels unusable by owners whose plans do not conform to the regulations that attach to them. Florida residents who are not willing to give up on using their land for purposes that fall outside their zoning plans may wish to learn more about variances.

A variance does not change the zoning of a parcel. Instead, it allows a land owner to use their parcel in a way that is otherwise not permitted in its zoning designation. Getting a variance can be a difficult process, and, for some, may require the support of a real estate attorney.

A party who wishes to secure a variance may have to provide an application that outlines their request and may have to pay a fee to have their application processed. Their local zoning board may take the variance request under consideration and open it up to public comment before making a decision on whether it should be granted. Not all variances are granted, and individuals who requests are denied may not know what other options are available for using their land.

A variance is an important tool for real estate owners who want to develop or use their properties in ways that fall outside the applicable zoning designations. To learn more about this and other topics related to land use and zoning, readers can meet with an attorney to have their questions answered and cases reviewed.