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Legal loopholes exist in zoning and land use laws

7/18/2016 | Real Estate Blog

As waterfront properties and neighborhoods continue to develop across the country, there are commercial and other concerns about concessions that have been made to developers. Notably, developers have asked for special considerations in return for creating affordable-housing units. A frustrating factor occurs when developers who abide by the agreed-upon zoning and land use laws have to witness others reneging on their agreements.

Though it can be time consuming to get approval, many developers choose to approach local government entities for specific concessions that will allow them to construct buildings not available to them previously. For example, a developer may seek to tear down older homes in order to build a new subdivision consisting of different types of dwellings. Or, a developer could promise to designate a certain percentage of units in a building as subsidized housing in order to increase the number of stories of the building or to build in a way that the building was not originally zoned to accommodate.

In many situations, this is an excellent way for cities to continue constant development and improvements. However, there are many builders that renege when it comes time for them to follow through on their promises. In these cases, it hurts the builders that endeavor to follow their obligations to the letter of the law.

Zoning and land use laws can be incredibly complex situations, which typically need the guiding hand of an attorney whose practice is focused on land use and zoning. Due to the myriad of state and local laws associated with zoning, it is important to seek an attorney who is local. Attorneys in this field will be best-suited to offer guidance to builders and developers as they navigate the state and local regulations that apply to their trade.