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Why You Need a Real Estate Attorney for Zoning Issues

If you become involved with any zoning issues, a real estate attorney can provide you with guidance on how best to resolve those issues. The rules for zoning are developed by local governments in order to set rules for land use.  Zoning rules affect the rights of residential and commercial property owners, and your interest in your property can be affected dramatically by zoning regulations. 

Curley & Rothman, LLC knows zoning laws in Pennsylvania and can provide you with legal assistance when you are involved in any zoning matter. Whether you have a residential or commercial property and you want to understand your rights and obligations under zoning law, we can advise you on how the rules apply to you.

We can also help you to understand zoning regulations on a property you are considering, and can assist you in arguing for or against a variance when there are questions about whether an exception should be made to zoning rules.  To learn more about how a Conshohocken, PA zoning lawyer at Curley & Rothman, LLC can help with all of your zoning issues, contact us now.

Why Do You Need a Real Estate Attorney to Help With Zoning Issues?

Zoning regulations create different categories of land use, including residential, commercial, and industrial.  Local zoning authorities separate the land within a county or municipality into different areas where properties can be used for residential, commercial, and industrial purposes.   Montgomery Township in PA provides information on zoning on is website, so those who wish to purchase or use property in the area can review the county-specific information to find out what the rules are.

If you wish to construct or use a building for a particular purpose, you will need to ensure that the land is suited for that purpose. Determining how a given plot of land is zoned can be complicated, but a real estate lawyer can help you to research before you make an offer on a building or a plot of land so you can ensure that the property can be appropriately used for your desired purpose.

Because zoning regulations only allow for specific kinds of uses for each given property or lot, zoning rules dramatically impact how a residential, commercial, or industrial property owner can use his or her space. As a result, ownership of a property is never absolute because it is always subject to zoning restrictions. The authority of municipalities and local government to establish zoning rules has withheld challenges to the U.S. Supreme Court, and it is clear that property owners must respect zoning rules and not use properties for unapproved uses or build structures that violate zoning laws.

While you cannot just deviate from zoning rules, however, there are some options where it may be possible to get a variance. A variance allows you to use a property for a different purpose than it is zoned for and/or to build a structure or improvements to the land that do not conform with zoning regulations.

You will need to make a convincing argument for why the variance should be granted, and there are others who likely will argue against granting a variance.  When a variance is sought for a particular plot of land or building, it is common for existing neighbors in the area surrounding the land or building to argue against allowing the variance because of concerns that their own property values could be adversely affected.

There is also one other exception in which a person or business can use a property for something other than it is zoned for: when the property is grandfathered in. This means that the property already existed and was being used for a particular purpose before zoning rules change. When the zoning rules are altered on a particular piece of property, the property owner does not have to abandon the property's existing use thanks to grandfather clauses that allow for an exception to the new zoning restrictions.

Getting Help from a Conshohocken Zoning Lawyer

Zoning laws are complex, and it can often be difficult to determine if a piece of property is fit for its intended use. When arguing either for or against a variance, the process can also be complicated - but it is important to do it right and make strong arguments so you maximize the chances of convincing the local zoning board to rule the way you want them to.

Curley & Rothman, LLC has extensive experience with zoning rules, and can help you with any of your concerns related to zoning.  To learn more, reach out today and call via phone at 610-834-8819  or contact us online to speak with a Conshohocken, Pennsylvania real estate attorney.

Real EstateScott Rothman