Zoning laws or codes regulate the size, location, and use of structures within defined areas. Zoning laws vary from state to state, and even among municipalities. Gated communities and homeowner’s associations may also have additional zoning laws and ordinances that need to be considered. An example of a zoning code regulated by local government are setback ordinaces, that determine how close you can build to your property lines.

Where Are Zoning Laws and Ordinances Located?

The best place to look for your local laws is at the office of your city or town government. The offices of the mayor, city attorney, or department of housing, are also a good place to start. Some public libraries may also have local ordinance materials. Also, local zoning laws are increasingly being posted on the internet. If you are a member of a gated community or homeowner’s association, your covenants, conditions and restrictions should enumerate any zoning laws and ordinances specific to your neighborhood.

Relevant Types of Zoning Laws and Ordinances

There are all kind of local zoning laws and ordinances. Some of the more common include: 

  • Building restrictions
  • Noise restrictions
  • Animal and Pet regulations
  • Trash and refuse regulations
  • Easements

How Can a Lawyer Help?

If you have a zoning problem or question a real estate attorney in your area can help familiarize you with the local zoning requirements and advise you on your legal options. Remember that zoning laws may greatly affect the value of your property.