Although zoning seems like a clear real estate topic in itself, there are many various types of zoning. The primary types include:

  • Spot zoning
  • Contract zoning
  • Down zoning
  • Esthetic zoning
  • Subdivision
  • Buffer zoning

What Is Spot Zoning?

Spot zoning ensues when a smallish area of land or section in an existing neighborhood is singled out and placed in a separate zone from that of neighboring property. For instance, a park or school might be permitted in a strictly residential area if it serves a valuable purpose to the neighborhood residents.

In some areas of the country, the courts have found spot zoning unlawful because it is incompatible with the existing land use-zoning plan or in an overall zoning scheme for the community. Whether the exception carved out is valid and supported by the facts often turns on public interest, the effect of spot zoning on the current uses of neighboring properties, and any ramifications formed by the zoning.

What Is Contract Zoning?

In some communities, contract zoning allows a property owner to enter into a written agreement with the local government to rezone certain areas of land. The owner accepts the limitations or restrictions set by the town for those parcels. The conditions would not necessarily be applied to other similarly zoned parcels.

What Is Down Zoning?

Down zoning is the rezoning of a tract of land for less-dense uses. Down zoning prohibits high-rise apartments and allows only low-rise apartments or single-family homes. Another is restricting industrial use and allowing retail services. Down zoning is one of the most widespread tools for tightening the screws on development and constraining suburban sprawl.

What Is Esthetic Zoning?

One of the most rapidly expanding forms of zoning is adopting esthetic zoning regulation by some neighborhoods. These ordinances define what is and what is not permissible for a landowner in terms of landscaping, color schemes, mailboxes, fences, solar panels, decks, satellite dishes, types of materials, and shapes of the roof. An esthetic zoning ordinance may demand that building plans be submitted and endorsed by an architectural review committee before construction starts.

What Is a Subdivision?

A subdivision is just what the name implies: it divides a single piece of property into smaller, separate pieces or lots, usually to sell as a divided piece or allow for future development. Commonly, the proposed subdivision involves a series of events that include notice and comment by the public and hearings before area residents and government officials before permission is given.

What Is Buffer Zoning?

Buffer zoning involves leaving a strip of land to develop a park, a small driving range, or grass and trees to divide a strictly single-family detached residential district from an apartment complex. This practice is becoming a common planning approach used by local governments and developers.

Zoning, Planning, and Land Use

Zoning, planning, and land use laws give local governments control over how land is used—usually to create uniform neighborhoods and areas. Zoning laws can be very complex, and many types of zoning exist to regulate buildings.”

The violation of zoning laws can be a severe and costly offense and can be complex and include confrontations with many different government authorities and neighbors. It is recommended that you contact a real estate lawyer for more info.

Commercial Real Estate

Commercial real estate law is a type of real estate law that establishes standards for commercial leases and the buy and sale of commercial real estate. Commercial lease attorneys familiar with commercial lease terms can help you examine potential lease contracts and bypass future pitfalls.

A real estate lawyer can also help inform you whether renting or purchasing a commercial space would be best for your company. Additionally, a real estate lawyer can advise you whether your proposed business will comply with local land use and zoning regulations where your commercial space would be.

Condominiums and Cooperatives

Both condominiums and cooperatives are kinds of “common-interest” communities. In the case of condominiums, owners are usually governed by a CC & R; (Conditions, Covenants, & Restrictions) document. Violators can be fined, and defenders against violation accusations may find it useful to speak to practiced CC & R lawyers.

Construction Disputes

Construction disputes are typical in the construction industry, and many revolve around construction delays. Because the controversy over delays can be uneasy and time-consuming, construction dispute mediation can be a great, inexpensive alternative to litigation. Real estate attorneys can also serve where mediation has failed.

If a construction dispute occurs, a real estate lawyer can help you investigate your options and follow what is in your best interest. Further, every state has separate lawsuit filing details, procedures, and deadlines for a breach of a construction contract claim. A lawyer can help a party conform to the applicable procedural regulations and organize all the proper documents to prove a breach.

Landlord and Tenant

Landlord and tenant law is at the foundation of many real estate transactions, including eviction, lease signing, subletting, etc. It is challenging to be a successful landlord in any case, but familiarizing yourself with real estate ordinances gives you firm ground to stand on should a conflict occur.

A sound grip on the law is essential for tenants as well. Renters should review our “What Every Tenant Needs to Know” article. Getting help from an experienced landlord-tenant lawyer can give you lots of knowledge of your local state laws, whether you are a tenant or landlord.

Mortgages

Mortgages are liens put on your property by a bank or financial institution, usually in exchange for a large loan. There are several types of mortgages presently available to homeowners, and selecting the right one for your case is one way of avoiding foreclosure later on.

Purchasing a house is complex, and signing a mortgage can worsen. Nevertheless, get the right advice from an experienced professional such as a real estate attorney. You can save a lot of money throughout your mortgage. A real estate lawyer familiar with the market in your location can be a useful guide through the process.

Purchase and Sale of Residence

The purchase and sale of a residence or house can be done entirely independently but is more often executed through an experienced broker or agent. While a broker can make the sale of your home much more manageable, it also brings contracts and commissions into the mix. If you choose to sell through an agent, real estate attorneys can inspect your contract before it is signed.

Real Estate Lawyers Get Real Results

Real Estate and Property Law includes a wide range of topics, such as buying, selling, using, and leasing residential or commercial property. Common Real Estate and Property Law disputes involve establishing property title and boundary lines, landlord and tenant disputes, and zoning/land use issues.

Real estate and property law also comprise the financing aspects of property, such as mortgages, liens, and foreclosures. Suppose you have bought or are thinking about purchasing real estate property, whether a home, commercial building, or land. In that case, you may want to consult with a real estate attorney to safeguard yourself from any unforeseen liabilities attached to the property.

Do I Need a Real Estate Attorney?

Zoning issues can be complex and include conflicts with many different types of government authorities and neighbors. It is recommended that you contact a real estate attorney for more details.