Call Us Today 714-667-7171

Orange County Land Use & Zoning Attorney

Orange County Land Use & Zoning Attorney


When a business sets out to expand, remodel, or build, it must first address permit and zoning requirements for the land they are using. This process is complicated in Orange County and filled with burdensome details that answer to involved regulations. It can be a headache, to say the least, even for the most astute professionals. Many business owners and professional corporations use a land use attorney to do the grueling paperwork and legwork required to secure entitlements.

Blake & Ayaz Orange County zoning lawyers have 60 years of combined experience in serving both individuals and businesses in the various areas of business law. We are equipped to offer legal assistance to anyone seeking land use entitlements and have experience with residential and commercial land use entitlements. Additionally, we are well-versed in city zoning codes and application filing. We work fastidiously in securing land use permits for our clients so they can focus on their business.


It is a time-consuming process to obtain a discretionary land use entitlement. All requirements must be addressed, including considerations of such things as foundation conditions, asbestos disclosure, plan guidelines, and retaining wall permits, among other things. Many things can go wrong while applying for these types of permits. However, hiring a zoning lawyer can sidestep errors, speed up processing times, and free up your time for more important things.


Land use and zoning are the primary factors that dictate how a property can be used. They instruct builders, developers, and anyone else making use of land on how many units can exist on a property and what kinds of buildings and businesses can be established and operated on a property. Additionally, they give detailed descriptions of how they can be designed. For a proposed use of land to be approved, it must meet the requirements of both land use and zoning.

Land use also provides a description of the basic type and extent of use for each land category. For instance, for residential area land use, the number of units allowed per acre is given; for commercial and industrial properties, the maximum allowable floor area according to lot size is given.

Zoning is a set of regulated guidelines that lists uses and design requirements a property is allowed to have and indicates permits that are necessary for approved development. It also involves the review of and approval process for applications for proposed use and proposed modifications of use. Some examples of zoning areas are below.

  • Agricultural
  • Commercial
  • Industrial
  • Residential


Land use and zoning is an area of law that serves to regulate the planning, building, occupation, use, and safety of real property. Land use law governs the way land can be used and the types of operations, activities, businesses, or dwellings that can take place on real property. Land use law encompasses a wide range of land-related actions, including the following common areas:

  • Permits
  • Planning
  • Zoning
  • Environmental
  • Protection of natural resources
  • Anti-pollution
  • Building and safety code
  • Subdivision planning
  • Adult businesses
  • Construction and development
  • Gentrification
  • City planning
  • Parks and recreation
  • Historical structures
  • Variances and setbacks
  • Planned unit development
  • Purchasing and selling of land


The California Building Standards Code states that no structure or building can be erected, altered, enlarged, constructed, repaired, improved, moved, converted, removed, or demolished unless separate permits for each structure or building are obtained from the building official beforehand. Orange County Development Services manages and oversees the planning and development entitlement regulations for both public and private projects in Orange County’s unincorporated neighborhoods. This process requires permit processing, inspection, and management of zoning and building and code regulations. The purpose of this is to ensure the safe and responsible development of property that maintains a high level of community standards.


The Building and Safety Department monitors, reviews, and approves building plans, grading plans, and water quality plans, as well as geotechnical reports by monitoring, approving, and ensuring the safety of the community in terms of community code enforcement services.


This department provides inspections, including inspections for grading, building, encroachment, and subdivision.


Land development involves the planning, designing, funding, checking, and building of large, planned master communities. Some areas that this entails are privately-owned and public flood control locations, streets, highways, and any related structure built or paid for by master developers.


Planning helps guide local development in the most logical way by implementing development policies. Orange County maintains its own policy document called the General Plan. This evaluates and creates policies for long-term land use, housing, open space, air quality, noise considerations, and more. The General Plan also provides residential, commercial, and industrial land designations, specifying where each of the land designations is zoned and communicating zoning via maps.

Planning ensures that growth and development of unincorporated areas continue to move in a positive direction via implementing zoning codes, the General Plan, local coastal plans, planned communities, and specific plans. This department also reviews the environmental documents of both public and private development initiatives.

The planning department serves the public, applicants, and other public departments in a manner that is fair and efficient and in congruence with the General Plan zoning and land use requirements of local ordinances. The zoning code, based on the General Plan, allows for the implementation of plans and planning communities to be developed according to local regulations and specifications. These documents outline and detail what types of property can be established and how the properties can be developed in use, all the while ensuring compatibility with specific locations. The four primary areas over which the planning division manages include current planning, advanced planning, subdivision planning, and environmental planning according to local, state, and federal law mandates.


The permit department helps customers submit permits and issues permits, takes research requests, provides property information, and responds to other inquiries via the public permit counter and the online platform.


Zoning codes are a set of rules that are established to regulate and communicate what is and is not allowed to be done with a particular property. These codes are established and enforced by the city. Every city has different zoning codes, and most cities can provide a zoning map of city codes.


The scope of services a land use lawyer can provide is as vast as the areas that this sector of law encompasses. Whether you are a business owner, real estate developer, corporate entity, or an individual, you will likely face legal problems when it comes to the bureaucracy of land use entitlement if you plan to seek a building permit. Obtaining a permit for land use is subject to zoning and rezoning and involves getting administrative and legislative approval to alter the use of land. It touches many areas of business, including many realms of real estate, from development, acquisition, and lease or sale of property.

A property lawyer works with site development planners, traffic engineers, project assistants, civil engineers, property managers, site acquisition professionals, and other directors to conceptualize and implement successful strategies that answer to the needs of clients and their objectives, all the while maintaining compliance with local regulations.

In addition to supporting the use of land, a zoning lawyer can also serve to provide legal counsel, defend, or even represent clients in violation of these laws, which often requires litigation. Land use violations are taken seriously in California. A land use attorney assists many sectors of business and, in many cases, represents clients on such matters as violations of building and safety codes, compliance, setbacks, permit denials, appeals to the zoning board, and arguing on behalf of their clients’ civil rights to property.


A few of the ways land use and zoning lawyers can assist their clients are described below, but there are many other areas of land use law where an attorney can be of use.

  • Identify agencies and the regulations that impact their clients’ projects and development goals
  • Help clients prepare for permit inspections
  • Ensure their clients’ project plans comply with applicable building codes, zoning requirements, and regulations
  • Provide extensive knowledge of agency procedures, codes, and regulatory laws as they apply to their clients’ interests
  • Assist in coordinating with technical professionals to meet standards
  • Assist in appealing application denials
  • Litigate on their clients’ behalf when necessary in municipal, state, and federal courts
  • Represent clients at administrative hearings and zoning board appeals
  • Help with disputes over land use
  • Guide clients’ through the red tape and rigorous permit application and zoning request protocols, and anticipate problems that commonly occur in similar cases


If you are embarking on a new land development project in Orange County, you can protect your investment by allowing an experienced land use and zoning attorney to handle your land use applications and permits. Blake & Ayaz Orange County zoning lawyers have extensive knowledge of Orange County zoning codes, permissions, regulations, and policies. We can relay the information you need to know that applies to your project, so you don’t have to worry about all the extra information that doesn’t apply to your development objectives. Call Blake & Ayaz Orange County zoning lawyers and inquire about how we can help make your job easier.


We’re Ready To Go To Work For You!