property attorney zoning regulations

Property AttorneyDon’t ‘Zone Out’ When It Comes to Zoning Regulations: How a Property Attorney Can Lend a Helping Hand in Overcoming Zoning Ordinance Obstacles

Sometimes people “zone out” when they are overwhelmed with a problem. The term “zone-out” refers to when a person stops paying attention or shuts down. This can be because something is to hard to comprehend or someone is too bored to pay attention or take notice. It is no surprise that most legal subjects tend to make people “zone out”, and zoning regulations are no stranger to this phenomenon. Chances of an average person being familiar with zoning ordinances is very unlikely, unless you work in the real estate world, as a property attorney, or in some aspect with a city or town, such as a city development board. Zoning ordinance issues grab hold of individuals and businesses alike. At Bret Jones, P.A., our property attorneys are familiar with zoning ordinances and the positive and negative effects they may have on individuals, businesses, and communities as a whole.

What is the Purpose of Zoning Ordinances?

What if a 20-story building was built next to your ranch-style home? You probably wouldn’t enjoy the fact that a massive building was likely blocking the light from your home, as well as increasing the traffic right next to your house. There’s a slew of other problems that would probably make you very upset if this happened to you. From this perspective, the purpose of zoning regulations makes sense. Nevertheless, there are parties on either side of the zoning spectrum. There are those who oppose zoning regulations overall and the other team that believes in strict application of zoning ordinances. In general, zoning ordinances are a great way to keep peace and order within communities, but there are occasions where they can become a hassle.

Why were Zoning Ordinances Created in the First Place?

Cities have historically enacted zoning ordinances for the purpose of safety, peace, and health of communities. In the United Kingdom, you may still come across signs on buildings within cities that declare: ‘This Window Has The Right to Light’. Although signage like this is seldom seen, it is interesting to come across. During the Industrial Revolution and the beginning of the construction of skyscrapers, it became very important for cities to ensure that people in houses or low-rising buildings had access to fresh air and light. Protecting the health, safety, and peace of communities took hold and zoning ordinances popped up beyond major cities into smaller towns. Nevertheless, there are major cities that do not have zoning ordinances. A prime example in the United States would be Houston,Texas. That’s right – Houston, Texas has no zoning ordinances unlike the majority of towns and cities across the United States.

Property AttorneyGetting Past the Zoning Regulations with a Development Permit

Getting past local zoning regulations in your community can be a tough obstacle to overcome, but you needn’t sink into a pit of despair if you can’t figure out a solution to a zoning ordinance obstacle. If you didn’t go to school to be a urban developer or lawyer, you shouldn’t be hard on yourself if you can’t figure out a solution to a zoning ordinance dilemma. More often than not a zoning ordinance is there for a great reason. Don’t forget the image of a skyscraper next to a small house. However, there are times when a development permit for a variance or special exception is the best solution. Seek the help of a property attorney to get a development permit for residential or commercial purposes.

Getting a Development Permit With the Help of a Property Attorney

A property attorney from Bret Jones, P.A. can guide you through the process of receiving a development permit such as a variance or special exception. Information regarding development permits can be found in Florida Statutes, Chapter 70 of Title VI: Civil Practice and Procedure, which is titled, ‘Relief on Burdens of Real Property Rights.’ An important idea to remember is that although zoning ordinances may provide for the safety, health, and welfare of a community or city; these same zoning ordinances may also be seen as a burden on real property rights. That is why the Florida Legislature enacted Chapter 70, which is also called the ‘Bert J. Harris, Jr., Private Property Rights Protection Act’. Florida Statute 70.001(1) states:

Property-attorneyThe Legislature recognizes that some laws, regulations, and ordinances of the state and political entities in the state, as applied, may inordinately burden, restrict, or limit private property rights without amounting to a taking under the State Constitution or the United States Constitution. The Legislature determines that there is an important state interest in protecting the interests of private property owners from such inordinate burdens. Therefore, it is the intent of the Legislature that, as a separate and distinct cause of action from the law of takings, the Legislature herein provides for relief, or payment of compensation, when a new law, rule, regulation, or ordinance of the state or a political entity in the state, as applied, unfairly affects real property.

Another Florida Statute, aptly titled “Variances and Waivers” is Florida Statute 120.542(1), which states, “Strict application of uniformly applicable rule requirements can lead to unreasonable, unfair, and unintended results in particular instances.” Florida Statute 120.542(1) further states, “This section is supplemental to, and does not abrogate, the variance and waiver provisions in any other statute.” Hence, a property attorney would gather relevant statues and case law to assist you in a zoning ordinance issue. According to Florida Statute 120.542(2), “Variances and waivers shall be granted when the person subject to the rule demonstrates that the purpose of the underlying statute will be or has been achieved by other means by the person and when application of a rule would create a substantial hardship or would violate principles of fairness.” Combined with appropriate and relevant case law, a property attorney at Bret Jones, P.A. will look to the Florida Statutes to help you overcome any zoning ordinance obstacles that may be in your way. So, don’t “zone out” if you have issues with a local zoning ordinances. Call the offices of Bret Jones, P.A.