Central Florida is home to a variety of land types, some of which are protected. When it comes to land use, a skilled Florida Land Attorney is necessary to fully understand and adhere to the many regulations surrounding the field. There are many factors we may not consider. From commercial or residential land, to the beautiful freshwater lakes or Cypress tree-filled swamps of natural conservation areas, there are guidelines to be followed regarding land use. It is imperative that we conserve our natural resources for both today as well as the future because there is a fine balance between conservation and smart land development.

It is necessary to be mindful of protecting our natural resources from irreversible destruction, but we should also be granted reasonable stipulations when attempting to develop land. Land is no longer acquired in the same ways that it might have been in the early colonial days of our nation. With the zoning regulations today, developers cannot just build a strip mall within a subdivision, or develop without adhering to certain applicable regulations that are set in place. To be precise, the conundrum faced by land owners, developers, and more become significant hurdles when shouldered without the counsel of a property lawyer.

Increasingly, there are more and more procedures that dictate what we can and cannot do with land. With most matters concerning land use, a Florida land attorney becomes a crucial aid. Trying to navigate through zoning regulations and other restrictions, can be a lengthy and tedious mission if you choose to sail without the guidance of a land use lawyer. Furthermore, we cannot hope to build a lasting healthy environment for future generations, if we do not take necessary precautions first. At Bret Jones, P.A. we are the Florida Land attorneys that strive to balance smart land development and conservation.

What is Land Use Law?

Land use law is a broad topic encompassing many legal areas dealing with land, ranging from issues regarding property development to adverse possession. Often times, property owners and developers need representation in order to solidify the contracts for the sale of land. Although it may seem like a relatively easy process, the idea of selling one piece of land from one person to another is vastly different than the actual practice.

Furthermore, title issues or even adhering to city, county, state, and federal regulations are often considered cumbersome by many. An integral asset in many of the legal aspects of land use is finding a skilled lawyer. Land use, often requires the expertise of a highly qualified attorney who specializes in the field. At Bret Jones, P.A. our breadth of knowledge in land use law can help you focus on your goals, while we deal with the details of compliance.

Land Development in Central Florida

Developers and property owners need legal expertise in a number of matters that lie outside the simple act of developing land. As a matter of fact, developing land has become a much more protracted process that it was in the days of yesteryear. This is mostly due to the vast regulations that deal with the development of land. However, with a qualified Florida land lawyer, developing land returns to the straightforward process is should be for developers.

As a property owner, there are a multitude of issues that can arise with a local governing body or even a neighbor. Consider the demands made on property owners and developers by zoning regulations. In Florida, zoning regulations created and enforced by municipalities and counties can create a myriad of hurdles for developers and property owners alike. Zoning regulations are important for the purpose of keeping areas clean and peaceful. The main purpose of zoning regulations is to ensure a balanced harmony in towns and counties so that the citizens of those areas can lead healthy and happy lives. Nonetheless, this idea is more often than not, different than the reality of the situation.

Variance

For instance, you may need a variance. A variance is when an individual or business requests to deviate from a zoning regulation. Usually, a property owner needs to show that the current zoning regulation creates a burden on the property owner to the extent that they are unable to utilize the property appropriately. Typically, a request for a variance is made in writing. Sometimes after a written application is submitted to the zoning board, a hearing may take place. This hearing will decide whether or not the variance may be granted. A Florida Land Attorney will draft your written applications and represent you at the zoning board hearings. With the expertise of Florida Land Attorneys on your side, the entire process runs much smoother.

Conditional Use Permits

Another similar type of land use allowance is a conditional use permit. A conditional use permit is similar to a variance, in that it deals with requesting a use of a property that according to zoning regulations would otherwise be non-permitted. However, unlike variances, which are usually heard in front of the zoning board, a hearing for a conditional use permit generally occurs at a public hearing. This is due to the fact that with conditional use permits, the idea is that new use for the land is in the best interests of the public.

Non-Conforming Use

Lastly, another common type of zoning regulation deals with non-conforming uses. A property owner requests allowance for a non-conforming use when the use of that property was already taking place prior to the zoning ordinance disallowing that certain use by enacting a regulation. In order to remain “grandfathered-in” as a non-conforming use, it is imperative that there be no lapse of time in the activity that was non-conforming. In other words, a business that may have been engaging in the non-conforming use cannot be shut down for any number of time. This is a major necessity for keeping the status of a non-conforming use, so that you can continue your use with permission.

Developers and property owners may find zoning regulations tiresome and full of bureaucratic red tape. A zoning lawyer can help you see clearly, and avoid any unnecessary waste of energy. You shouldn’t be letting any zoning regulations make you frustrated. By retaining a qualified zoning attorney, we can help you understand any seemingly abstruse rules, and assist you in attaining your goal. Whether you are dealing with a variance or conditional use permit, adverse possession, or simply the sale of land, our Florida Land Attorneys at Bret Jones, P.A. can advise you of your options and help you achieve your goals.

Conservation in Central Florida

At Bret Jones, P.A. we understand the important of protecting our natural resources not only for the people of today, but for the future as well. With a deep and profound appreciation for nature and the wildlife of Central Florida, we do our best to assist our community in conservation matters. Perhaps you own land that you would like to see preserved for future generations. We can provide you with thorough and precise legal counsel to get you on the right track.

For example, you can receive a tax exemption on your real property if you use that property for conservation purposes, according to Section 196.26(4) of the Florida Statutes. There are a number of steps that are necessary to attain this tax exemption, and one of the first steps is having an executed and recorded conservation easement. In order to qualify for a conservation easement, a property under 40 acres in size needs to “fulfill a clearly delineated state conservation policy,” and “yield a significant public benefit.”

At Bret Jones, P.A. our Florida Land Attorneys can help explain these qualifications and more, when it comes to whether you wish to receive a tax exemption on your real property for conservation purposes. Our aim at Bret Jones, P.A. is to assist you in achieving your goals, whether dealing with land development or land conservation. We keep our clients well-informed so that they can make the best choices, as we continue to guide them through conservation and smart land development. Choose Bret Jones, P.A. as your Florida Land Attorneys, for all your land use concerns.

Sources:

https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/land_use

 

http://realestate.findlaw.com/land-use-laws/zoning-changes-variances-and-more.html

 

http://www.dep.state.fl.us/lands/arc_conservation.htm

 

http://www.dep.state.fl.us/lands/ARC/Easement_Application_2014.pdf

 

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