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Land Use, Zoning and Planning Law in Arizona

The laws governing how land can and cannot be used in Chandler, Arizona are fairly difficult, 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 common 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 avoiding legal disputes.

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

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

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 probably the best and easiest 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 violates 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 Chandler, Arizona's zoning laws, a variance will normally be granted.

Additionally, zoning ordinances cannot be applied against you retroactively. For example, 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 live 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 Chandler, Arizona Attorney Help?

If you want to make improvements to your property, apply for a variance, or contest a zoning regulation as being applied to you retroactively, you have a right to do so, including some constitutional protections. However, your chances of prevailing in a zoning disagreement will be markedly improved if you hire an accomplished Chandler, Arizona real estate attorney to help.

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Life in Chandler

Since the 1950s, Chandler, Arizona has been growing in population, diversity, and economic growth!  Chandler is home to many attractions.  For the nature-lovers, the Veterans Oasis & Environmental Educational Center have over 100 acres of wetlands and desert perfect for hiking, fishing, biking, and picnics.  Those who love to skate will enjoy spending time at the Chandler Skate Park, a 35,000 square-foot park used by skateboarders and in-line skaters.  

A very unique attraction is Rawhide, a 1880s themed western town with shootouts, wagon rides, burro rides, gold panning, etc.  Rawhide opened in Chandler in 2006 and has been a favorite of the locals and tourists since!

Chandler's historic downtown is filled with shops, restaurants, and galleries.  There is also a quaint garden filled with antique shops and an old-fashioned ambiance.  On the first Wednesday of every month, local artists display their work for everyone to enjoy, and hopefully buy.  Located near downtown is Chandler Historical Museum, a museum free to the public with many exhibits displaying the city's rich history.

Chandler is also famous for the Ostrich Festival and Jazz Festival.  The Ostrich Festival is a family event with ostrich races and other "ostrich-themed" activities.  There is also music, parades, a carnival, and great food.  The Festival originates from the city's tradition of Ostrich Ranching.  Similarly, the city has an annual traditional event-the Jazz Festival.  This is a weekend long event where many jazz musicians showcase their talent for the public to enjoy!

Since Chandler is viewed as one of Phoenix's most prominent suburbs, residents of Chandler have access to the large firms and legal market of Phoenix.  Additionally, there are many smaller firms and solo-practitioners with law offices located in Chandler, guaranteeing attorneys who are focused on zealously representing their clients.  Therefore, everyone's legal needs are met.  Moreover, Chandler residents are fortunate to have a more personalized and service-oriented approach to address their legal needs.

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