Land use law covers a wide range of complex legal issues, each of which are particularly relevant to property owners, developers, and investors. Land use litigation involves issues ranging from rezoning to interpretation of existing regulations; and, successful outcomes depend heavily on the land use attorney’s experience and understanding of the relevant legal and political issues.
Property value is determined by how that property can be used, so land use issues are central to a great number of real estate transactions and business decisions. Given the complexity of zoning regulations, an attorney can help individuals in nearly every transaction that hinges on a particular use of land.
Prior to any real estate transaction, prospective purchasers or investors should consult with a land use attorney about any restrictions that may be on the land. By assessing zoning regulations, as well as the rezoning history, a land use attorney can advise clients as to the types of permitted land uses. An attorney can offer advice and clarification on federal and state legislation that might impact a property’s value.
Property owners or developers who desire to use their property for a new purpose are almost always required to obtain approval from at least one government entity. This may require them to seek rezoning, obtain a variance, amend the development’s master plan, or obtain a special-use permit. Land use attorneys can interpret the regulatory system and counsel accordingly.
Even property owners who exercise due diligence sometimes run into obstacles when trying to put their property to its most valuable use. When conflict impedes development, land use litigation can help developers obtain the official approval they need to move forward with their plans.