In order to have standing to challenge a zoning ordinance in court, you must show that your rights as a property owner are being infringed upon by the zoning ordinance and that you have suffered an undue hardship as a result.
If you want to challenge the constitutionality of a particular zoning ordinance, you can allege one of the following:
- The ordinance is discriminatory on its face, meaning that the restriction itself is fundamentally unfair in its language, or
- The ordinance is discriminatory in its application, meaning that it is fair on its face, but that it is only enforced upon certain people or certain pieces of property in a discriminatory manner
What Do I Need to Prove?
As with any claim you might make on constitutional grounds, proving that a zoning ordinance is unconstitutional requires that you prove to a court that you have been denied a right that is fundamentally guaranteed to you by the U.S. Constitution.
Regardless of which challenge you are making, you will need to show that you have suffered an actual loss as a result of the ordinance. For example, if a zoning ordinance prevents you from practicing your profession in your home, you will have to demonstrate to the court that you are suffering a loss of income as a result of the restriction.
Should I Consult a Real Estate Attorney?
If you believe that you have suffered as the result of an unconstitutional zoning ordinance affecting your property, you should see a real estate attorney with experience in property litigation. He or she will be able to preserve your constitutional rights and help you seek any remedies that may be available to you.