LOS ANGELES LAND USE AND ZONING LAWYER
Every property owner wants to be able to make use of their land to improve their living conditions or generate revenue. However, that’s not always as easy as it sounds. Companies may purchase land that is close to preestablished residences, which can create conflict. The residents may worry about traffic, noise, and other disturbances. The new development may also affect their property value. On the other side, the company also wants to see a return on its investment in the area. That is why laws are in place to help maintain peace between property owners and resolve any disputes that may arise.
When issues such as these happen and create conflict, you need a skilled and experienced Los Angeles land use and zoning attorney.
An extensive range of federal, state, and local regulatory requirements, as well as close government inspection, apply to land development. Profound regulatory knowledge, legal competence, and experience are necessary to comprehend how different development, planning, and zoning laws interact and ensure compliance with all applicable laws. In the Los Angeles area, the talented legal team at Blake & Ayaz can help you navigate the zoning process for any project.
Our attorneys have a combined 60 years of
experience helping out businesses and individuals. Our multi-talented team can help you turn your business idea into a legally established company and represent you in any subsequent trademark, licensing, contract, labor, or compliance issues that arise.
Blake & Ayaz services clients in Santa Ana, Los
Angeles, San Diego and Orange County, and throughout California.
Call now at 714-364-1138 to schedule a consultation.
WHAT ARE LAND USE AND ZONING ATTORNEYS?
Land use and zoning attorneys are lawyers who specialize in land use, planning, and zoning. They engage in a wide range of legal activities surrounding property law:
- Guiding the purchase of land
- Creation and execution of general and specialized plans
- Plan modifications
- Zone changes
- Subdivision of property
- Conditional uses of property
For their city clients and their boards and commissions, land and zoning attorneys constantly analyze zoning statutes, particular plan papers, and CEQA documents. They also help clients with the legal review of other complex land use and entitlement issues.
WHAT IS ZONING AND WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
To execute the county’s general plan and community plans, zoning governs:
- Lot coverage
- Land use
- Building size
Planning and zoning’s overarching goals are to:
- Safeguard the public’s health, safety, and welfare.
- Encourage compatibility among various land uses and developments.
- Support a beautiful and thoughtfully designed community.
In some cases, especially those concerning historical sites, going against zoning laws, or completely ignoring them, can result in hefty fines and legal action. Fortunately, finding a Los Angeles land use and zoning attorney can help you avoid these fees and fines. They can guide you as you legally expand and develop property without breaking zoning regulations.
DOES CALIFORNIA REQUIRE THE USE OF REAL ESTATE ATTORNEYS?
California does not require everyone to hire an attorney to represent them at the closing of a real estate transaction, as some jurisdictions do. To submit your offer, you (together with your broker or agent) will probably use a standard document called the Residential Purchase Agreement and Joint Escrow Instructions. The California Association of Realtors created this document to facilitate the zoning process and help those who choose to go without legal representation.
You will not need an attorney to evaluate this form because your real estate agent will assist you in filling it out. This form shall constitute the entire agreement between you and the seller in the event the seller accepts your offer. (The seller will probably counteroffer; however, this can also be accomplished using the normal method.) If your agent is unable to address all your questions regarding the offer and subsequent contract creation, or if your transaction is exceptionally complicated, it would be wise to get legal counsel from an expert local attorney.
COMMON ISSUES HANDLED BY LAND USE AND ZONING ATTORNEYS
A land use lawyer conducts zoning law research, examines legal concerns relating to the development, presents cases in court, and makes sure all construction complies with safety standards. They guide a variety of real estate development-related issues, such as zoning regulations, building codes, and more. A land use lawyer works on a variety of land use problems associated with real estate development, such as:
- Zoning issues: Zoning is used to distribute land use in privately owned real estate areas in an efficient manner. The state suggests a zone, which is then approved by a city or regional authority. Depending on your project, as well as where you are trying to build your structure, zoning issues may arise, conflicting with state and local ordinances. Land use attorneys can help solve these issues while keeping your structures in line with county rules.
- Environmental concerns: State and local agencies are required by the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) to determine the substantial environmental effects of their actions and, when practical, avoid or mitigate those effects. The effects that new developments have on the environment can be detrimental to wildlife and waterways. Making sure that your project is well within environmental standards, especially from a legal perspective, can help you avoid breaching the CEQA.
- Dealing with government agencies: One requirement of working as a land use and zoning attorney is having a strong handle on local government and municipal regulations. The political aspect of property law rests in their ability to work alongside these agencies while representing their clients’ interests and rights to the property they own. This is a crucial part of providing land use and zoning legal services, especially during the litigation process.
- Obtaining project approval: Before starting any new project, a building permit is required to begin construction. A building permit is authorization from a municipality or county to build or construct a project. Not only new construction projects but also rehabilitation and renovation projects need building permits. A local government can use the building permit to determine if the building and construction process comply with the relevant regulations’ standards for health and safety.
It can be difficult to navigate contracts for building projects. A land use lawyer guides clients through the entire procedure so that they may obtain the necessary permissions and adhere to all rules and specifications. A land use lawyer should be familiar with:
- Real estate law
- Permit requirements
- Environmental concerns
- Building code standards
- Governmental contracts
To prevent legal disputes that can occur while selling a home, the majority of real estate agencies work with land use attorneys. To submit paperwork for construction sites, including applications for permits, construction companies also use land use attorneys.
THE IMPORTANCE OF REAL ESTATE AND PROPERTY LAWS
State property and real estate laws frequently include provisions like adverse possession, which benefits those who significantly improve property they do not own, and “homestead” protection from creditors, which helps small landowners maintain their farm or home through economic hardship. For instance, in California, a person who is either disabled or over 65 may request homestead protection on real estate worth up to $150,000. Additionally, California’s real estate and property rules offer incentives for structures that are ecologically friendly and use less energy.
TYPES OF LAND USE INVOLVED IN ZONING CONFLICTS
There could be several problems when there are commercial buildings next to residences, particularly in terms of zoning regulations. Municipalities frequently have zoning laws in place to address issues like noise pollution that might disturb neighbors as well as air and water pollution. Parking in the commercial sector could also be a problem in regards to its placement and maintaining the proper distance from residential homes. Some of the most common sources of property disputes include:
- Residential Land Use: Zoning laws apply to single-family, mobile, suburban, and other residential estates. Regulations governing residential zoning may specify whether a person is permitted to run a home-based business.
- Industrial Land Use: Business-specific industrial ordinances address issues including noise and the environment.
- Commercial Land Use: This regulation specifies the kinds of businesses that can be located on the property, including offices, warehouses, hotels, and shopping centers.
- Agricultural Land Use: The land’s non-farm and farm areas are designated by zoning laws based on agriculture. Farmers and ranchers can use this land area for their operations.
- Historic Land Use: The protection of historic sites and buildings is provided by a historical land zoning regulation. In this zone, no other kinds of construction are permitted.
- Esthetic Zoning: The laws governing esthetic zoning specify color palettes, landscaping, and other aesthetically pleasing elements. These are mostly found in residential areas.
- Permitted and Accessory Uses: These uses are present whenever a property has an accessory or an addition. A bar attached to a hotel or a garage attached to a house are examples of supplements that are intended to improve a property within the zone.
Ordinances governing signage, litter, and view blockage are some other typical zoning regulations to consider. It is advisable to speak with a lawyer before developing commercial property. You will need to learn about the relevant zoning regulations to determine whether any variances or notable exceptions can be secured to move the project forward.
Another typical issue with commercial zoning is a setback. This phrase refers to the minimum allowed distance between structures and property lines. For safety and to avoid crowding, setbacks can be used to keep buildings a specific distance from roads. Allowing for enough ventilation and sunshine within a zone are two of a setback’s primary objectives.
IS SOLVING COMMERCIAL DISPUTES DIFFERENT FROM RESIDENTIAL?
Some people will contact the alleged offender to settle a zoning disagreement on their own. For residential disputes, complaints are usually made to your local zoning officials, who can open an investigation. Depending on the results, your local zoning board will issue a response regarding your property, either claiming that your structures or homes are within code or in defiance of that code. If you find their response unsatisfactory, a claim may be submitted to the zoning board of the local government, which may take action.
Alternately, in cases of commercial projects, a zoning infraction might result in the filing of a lawsuit, particularly if charges of discrimination are made in situations that affect a sizable number of individuals. For example, if a commercial project is too close to a neighborhood and runoff from the construction site gets into a local water source that threatens the community, those affected can file a lawsuit. Class-action lawsuits may be filed if the situation affects a sizable portion of the population in a given area. Still, these disputes are easily preventable at the outset of a project if the right legal considerations are made and, where appropriate, an impact study is carried out.
HOW DOES A LAND USE AND ZONING ATTORNEY HELP?
Before attempting to engage in a project at a given location, especially if it is close to residential homesteads, commercial business owners should carefully research the zoning laws. For homeowners, understanding state and local laws on what you can and cannot build is important before starting any project. Most issues occur when establishments are placed close to residential areas and the locals become concerned about the effects on the environment, an increase in noise or traffic, or the value of their properties.
By engaging with a lawyer beforehand, landowners can prevent legal troubles and pricey fines related to zoning issues. A lawyer who is familiar with the zoning laws of a municipality can help select the best course of action and prevent future problems and penalties. A lawyer can assist a commercial enterprise that is already operating on the property and is dealing with complaints or claims of zoning violations. For residential additions or expansions, zoning attorneys can help ensure that your plans are within state and local guidelines.
SEEK LEGAL HELP WITH LAND DEVELOPMENT AND ZONING ISSUES
Land development is subject to a wide range of federal, state, and local regulatory restrictions as well as stringent government oversight. To fully understand how various development, planning, and zoning rules interact and to guarantee compliance with all relevant laws, one needs to have a thorough understanding of regulatory matters as well as legal expertise and experience. At Blake & Ayaz, our team of zoning law experts can help tackle your case, giving you the necessary legal guidance to successfully execute your zoning and land ownership plans, both residential and commercial. For more information on our services in the Los Angeles area, visit our website and contact us today.
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