Understanding zoning regulations

On Behalf of | Sep 5, 2019 | land use & zoning

When people in Florida purchase, sell or update their property, it is important to understand certain restrictions that may exist. In other words, regulations regarding land use and zoning define what can be built on certain land and what that property can be used for. These regulations allow property owners to get the most out of their property; however, they can also cause restrictions. Because of this, some property owners may seek to re-zone their property so they can use the land for reasons other than what it was initially zoned for.

The purpose of zoning is to divide a municipality into three parts, residential, commercial and industrial. For the most part, each of these zones is separate from the others; however, there can be some overlap. Nonetheless, the use of the property in each zone is reasonably uniform.

In order to help create uniformity, zoning regulations are put in place. These regulations can be detailed, and they typically include restrictions, such as specific requirements regarding the type of buildings allowed, the location of utility lines, restrictions on accessory buildings, building setbacks from the streets and other boundaries, the size and height of buildings and the number of rooms in a building.

These restrictions could also cover the frontage of lots, minimum lot area, yard space, off street parking, the number of buildings on a lot and whether the area is restricted to single-family homes or allows multi-family dwellings or townhouses.

If one seeks to challenge a zoning regulation, certain factors must be assessed, as well as the purpose of these changes. Typically, re-zoning an individual parcel of property means that the private owner wants the property to be zoned differently.

Addressing land use and zoning issues can be confusing and complex. While property owners may have a goal in mind, it might be challenging to fully understand what steps must be taken to help meet this goal. Thus, it may be helpful to speak with a legal professional. An attorney can help property owners resolve their property law issues.