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Land Use, Zoning and Planning Law in Arizona

The laws controlling how land can and cannot be used in Avondale, Arizona are fairly intricate, and can be confusing to laypersons. This should provide a basic overview.

"Zoning" is the process by which a local government makes laws determining how individual pieces of land within its jurisdiction can be used. Normally, towns or cities are segmented off into "zones," each one being designated for a specific type of use. Examples of typical zoning categories are single family residence, commercial, multi-unit housing, or industrial.

There are a lot of rationales and purposes for zoning laws. In general, they're based in common sense: chemical plants shouldn't be created next to daycare centers, pig farms should not be created in the middle of a residential neighborhood, and other simple principles similar to that. Zoning laws, by keeping conflicting land uses separate, make life easier for all parties, ensuring that property values will be preserved, and that necessary industries can be conducted where they will not bother anyone.

Zoning laws don't exist just to protect residential use - it also protects individuals who engage in other types of use of land, by making sure that they are able to do their business, without bothering neighboring landowners, and thereby preventing legal disputes.

What if My Property Violates Avondale, Arizona's Zoning Laws?

Zoning laws are commonly quite extensive and meticulous, and it's extremely possible that your property in Avondale, Arizona contains some minor zoning violation that you don't know about. If this happens to you, you have considerable legal protections.

Initially, and perhaps most evidently, you can correct the violation. If the violation is comparatively minor, and correcting it would not cost you much or be a considerable burden, this might be the best way to go.

Occasionally, however, a landowner wants to make improvements on their property which might constitute a slight violation of Avondale, Arizona's zoning laws. In this case, the owner can apply for a variance - an official agreement from the local government to not enforce a certain zoning regulation. Typically, variances are granted when the violation is extremely minor, and, enforcing the letter of the zoning law would not do much to advance its broader purpose.

Moreover, if you have been residing on your property for a long time, and made improvements on it that complied with the zoning laws in effect at the time, a new zoning law that would be violated by your prevailing use of your property, the new law cannot be enforced against you. The U.S. Constitution bars the passage of "ex post facto," or retroactive, laws. Once the laws take effect, however, you'll have to comply with the new zoning laws with respect to any new improvements you want to make on your property.

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How Can a Avondale, Arizona Attorney Help?

If you are in the early stages of a major construction or remodeling project on your property, particularly if it is in a residential area (where zoning laws tend to be most restrictive), you are likely to face one zoning law issue or another. Of course, having read this article, you should now be aware that you have rights when it comes to contesting a zoning law as applied to you. While such contests do not always come out on the side of the landowner, the help of a seasoned Avondale, Arizona real estate attorney will greatly improve one's chances.

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Life in Avondale

Avondale is very near Phoenix, Arizona, located in Maricopa County.  It is very well noted for being home to the Phoenix International Raceway, a fun and famous auto-racing facility!

Being near Phoenix, Avondale residents have access to some very well-known law firms of all sizes.  Phoenix is home to many large, mid-size, and small law firms that are home to many competent attorneys.  Many of these attorneys have been educated at the top-tier University of Arizona Law School.  Therefore, many lawyers working in Phoenix have a connection to Arizona and its residents.  Avondale citizens can therefore enjoy personalized legal service from attorneys who care about their home.

Some famous residents of Avonda include Craig Mabbitt, Nick Harris, Clancy Pendergast, Raymond Shuey, and Everson Griffen. 

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