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Land Use, Zoning and Planning Law in Michigan
The laws that regulate how land can be used, and what structures can be built on individual pieces of land in Dearborn Heights, Michigan can sometimes be a bit difficult. This article will not make its reader an expert, but should serve as a good introduction to the subject.
Localities usually divide their jurisdictions into segments, referred to as "zones," on which particular types of use are permitted. For instance, one area of a town might be zoned for residential use, a nearby one for commercial use, and areas on the outskirts zoned for industrial use. This practice is called "zoning."
There are various different reasons that cities might engage in zoning - but it is normally designed around making cities more livable, by preventing conflicting uses from clashing with one another. After all, few people would want to live in a house next to a vacant lot, if there is a chance that somebody could decide to build a pig farm next door. The security provided by zoning laws helps uphold property values
Zoning also serves the interests of industry, as well as residents. By ensuring that there are places where heavy industry can take place, well-planned zoning regulations will ensure that industrialists are free to practice their trade, and that residents will not be disturbed by those activities, which makes industry more useful by helping it prevent costly nuisance lawsuits.
What if My Property Violates Dearborn Heights, Michigan's Zoning Laws?
Suppose you find that some condition on your land is in violation of Dearborn Heights, Michigan's zoning laws. In cases like this, you have quite a few avenues.
First of all, and most simply, the owner could just fix the violation. If the violation isn't very considerable, and fixing it wouldn't cost very much, this is likely the best and simplest option.
What if, however, you've invested a considerable amount of time and money into making an improvement on your property, only to find that it breaks your local zoning laws in some minor way? In this case, you can apply for a variance. This is basically an exception to the zoning rules. If declining to enforce these rules would not harm anyone, and would not do much to advance the purpose of Dearborn Heights, Michigan's zoning laws, a variance will normally be granted.
Additionally, zoning ordinances cannot be applied against you retroactively. For instance, suppose you built a 3-story house on your property, and your property was zoned to allow 3-story houses to be built at the time of construction. And then, years later, the area you reside in is re-zoned, to only allow 2-story houses. Can the local government force you to remove a whole level of your house? Of course not. Applying a law retroactively is unconstitutional. On the other hand, any future changes you want to make to your property will have to comply with the applicable zoning ordinance as it is currently written.
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How Can a Dearborn Heights, Michigan Attorney Help?
If you suddenly become involved in a zoning dispute with your local government, it's necessary to seek competent legal representation. The counsel of an accomplished Dearborn Heights, Michigan real estate attorney can make it much easier for you to act within the law to use your own property as you wish, or at least be as free as possible to make improvements to your land.
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Life in Dearborn HeightsDearborn Heights is in Wayne County, which is in the Detroit metropolitan area. The city has a population of about 57,774 people.
Some history behind Dearborn Heights is that it formed from the two sections of the Dearborn Township and a small part of the village of Inkster. It was incorporated on March 4, 1960. Surrounding areas include the Ecorse River and the Rouge River.
The city is home to attorneys who practice law in many areas of practice. These attorneys work in small law offices and law firms. They focus on providing personalized legal services to residents and local businesses.