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Top 10 Zoning and Land Use Articles

When it comes to land and buildings, people often think, "It’s my property and I can do whatever I want with it." If only it were that simple. For better or worse, a complex set of laws governs nearly every aspect of property use and enjoyment.

To avoid violating property laws as you go about enjoying your penthouse suite, dude ranch, or mere humble abode, you should review the following top 10 zoning, planning, and land use articles from the LegalMatch Law Library.

1. Zoning, Planning, and Land Use

The overall land use plan for a city is determined by the local zoning code. Basic restrictions such as whether or not you may use your land for a commercial enterprise are determined by zoning laws. Learn the basics about zoning laws and who creates them in this article.

2. Types of Zoning

While residential and commercial are common types of zoning, do you know what spot, down, or buffer zoning is? Although they sound like cleaning techniques, read this article to find out about the different ways a municipality can use zoning laws to control the way the area is developed.

3. Building Codes

Imagine walking through a home and hitting your head on every door frame. Or imagine working in an office with stinking fumes circulating all day. Building codes exist in order to prevent these and other circumstances. As this article describes, building codes are standards of construction meant to protect the public’s health and safety.

4. Homeowner’s Associations

You may have restrictions on your property because it is part of a common interest community. When your home, condominium, or cooperative is part of a common interest community it usually has a governing body such as a homeowner’s association or condo association. These organizations usually have contracts with property owners that tell the owner what he or she can and cannot do on the property. For example, they make sure all the homes in the neighborhood look well groomed and have a similar design scheme.

5. Nuisance

When someone is prevented from use and/or enjoyment of their property because of the acts of someone else, the actor may be creating a nuisance. Common nuisances are smells, loud noises, unauthorized burning of materials, and bright lights. Read this article to find out more about the elements of nuisance and possible remedies.

6. Historic Preservation

Historic preservation balances the need for present-day safety compliance with the desire to keep the historic building as true to its historic look as possible. This means that historic buildings may apply for alternative building regulations, tax credits, and grants.

7. Is Someone Blocking Your View?

In certain specific cases, you may be able to prevent someone from blocking your view. Your view may be legally protected by local building regulations or if someone deliberately and/or maliciously blocks your view. Read this article to find out more about view ordinances.

8. Legal Issues with Fences

Did you know that in most places fences can only be 6 feet tall? Read this article to find out more about what is considered a fence, whether an area needs a fence, or when you have to repair your fence.

9. Encroachments onto Private Land

Pretend that you have an invisible wall all around your property on the boundary lines. That is the area you own. When something comes over or through that invisible wall it is considered an encroachment and you may sue for damages or to have it removed from your land.

10. Easements

You may have an obligation to adhere to an easement on your land, even if you did not create it. Easements are the right to use someone’s land for a particular purpose. Common easements are public sidewalks or electric poles. Even if you do not want that electrical pole, you likely cannot get rid of it. Easements are very complicated, so read this article to find out if you might have an issue with an easement.

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