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Orange County Zoning Issues

Orange County Real Estate Attorneys Explain Zoning

Zoning is the division of a county, city, or town, by regulation or ordinance, setting limits on how you may use your property based upon where that property is located. Zoning is an issue in every real estate transaction, whether buying or selling or making improvements or changes to existing property.

Typical Zoning Ordinances
Typical zoning ordinances your Orange County real estate lawyer can explain to you include:

  1. Use requirements (how your property may be used, such as residential, commercial, agricultural, or recreational);
  2. Use restrictions (for example, building height, where on the lot may a building be constructed, how close buildings may be to each other, and many others);
  3. Bulk requirements (for example, a building’s square footage, height, and how much of the lot the building covers as a percentage of the lot); and
  4. Subdivisions (restrictions on your desire to split your lot into smaller parcels)

The preceding laws are commonly seen, but what if there is a conflict between those regulations and how you desire to use your property? There are several issues to consider.

Nonconforming Use
When a new zoning ordinance is passed, there will typically be many existing properties that will not be in compliance with the new ordinance either due to the nature of the building on the property or what type of activity is occurring within the building.

Conditional Use
Ordinances may allow a certain use of a property, but only with some restrictions.

Variances
Also known as a special use permit, this allows an exception to an ordinance but in most cases requires the showing of some individualized hardship.

Questions You Should Ask Your Orange County Real Estate Lawyer

  1. How do the current zoning laws restrict my rights and what can I do?
  2. If laws change, do I have to conform my property? What about when I sell?
  3. How do I seek a variance? Who could oppose my request?

If you have any more questions about zoning ordinances and how they might affect you and your property, please do not hesitate to contact an experienced Orange County real estate lawyer at the Daily Aljian law firm today for a free initial consultation.