Regardless of where your property is located, the probability is high that you will eventually deal with property line disputes or zoning conflicts/questions. When these issues occur, it's best to start by making sure you are familiar with the Zoning Ordinances, Zoning Regulations and the proposed use of the property in question.
Nonconforming Use: When a conflict between existing property use and new zoning laws exists. This can occur in two different scenarios. First, the nature or specific characteristics of a structure do not meet zoning laws. Second, the activity the structure is being used for does not conform to the law.
For instance, a factory being used in an area that is zoned residential is a nonconforming use. In some instances, the nonconforming use can be provided with a time limit. Once the specified time limit expires, nonconforming use is no longer allowed and the property must be converted to a conforming use. If this is not possible or if it simply does not occur, the property is sometimes destroyed.
Conditional Use: When the use of the property is allowed by a zoning law, but it is governed or limited by specified conditions.
For instance, a professional office being allowed in a rural/residential zoned area if they provide off street parking for their business.
Variances: When a special use permit provides an exception to the zoning requirements in place. A variance usually depends upon the existence of a hardship on the part of the applicant.
For instance, an odd shaped lot that disturbs the requirements and minimum building requirements are unable to be met when building a structure on the property.
Spot Zoning: When the local land use plans and zoning ordinances include restrictions for land use in specific areas that are listed.
These are just a few common types of conflict related to zoning law. There are many issues that can arise depending upon the specific situation. Owners of properties can seek exceptions once zoning plans are put in place. Every property is different and will provide a variety of solutions to zoning issues.
For additional information, contact our southern California real estate attorney at The Law Office of Retz & Aldover LLP.