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Zoning & Permitting Disputes

Zoning ordinances and the permitting process allow local governments to regulate real estate development within their borders. While local administrative bodies or governments often make zoning and permitting decisions, the courts may review these decisions to ensure they were issued in a fair manner that complied with applicable laws.

Common zoning and permitting disputes address issues related to zoning variances, building permits, environmental permits, the denial of subdivision plans, and special use permits.

Zoning regulations and ordinances usually serve to divide a municipality into industrial, commercial, and residential districts. Additional zoning restrictions may address such issues as:

  • The type of buildings allowed;
  • Minimum lot sizes;
  • The number of buildings on a lot;
  • The size and height of buildings;
  • The number of dwellings on a lot; and
  • The location of utility lines.

Permits are often required for new construction, major remodeling, or changes to how a structure or property is used. They help local governments ensure that the project plans comply with standards for such things as land use, zoning, and construction. Permits also generally provide for the safety of building occupants.

Governments’ ability to regulate land use is restricted under state and national law, and these restrictions may provide a basis for property owners to challenge zoning and permitting decisions. Additionally, local governments are generally barred from making land-use decisions that treat one property different than neighboring properties.

The experienced real estate attorneys at Thomas H. Curran Associates have the skills necessary to assist clients involved in disputes and litigation over zoning and permitting issues. Our lawyers can represent clients before municipal and county zoning boards and help them with the permitting and regulatory process. In cases where litigation cannot be avoided, our attorneys forcefully advocate on behalf of clients in court to ensure that their interests are protected.

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