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Land Use, Zoning and Planning Law in Arizona

The laws governing how land can and cannot be used in Gilbert, Arizona are fairly confusing, 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. Typically, 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 constructed next to daycare centers, pig farms should not be constructed 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 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 efficient by helping it avoid costly nuisance lawsuits.

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

If a condition on your property violates the local zoning laws of Gilbert, Arizona, there are a few different solutions.

First of all, and most simply, the owner could just fix the violation. If the violation isn't very substantial, and fixing it wouldn't cost very much, this is probably the best and easiest option.

Sometimes, however, a landowner wants to make improvements on their property which might constitute a slight violation of Gilbert, 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 particular zoning regulation. Usually, variances are granted when the violation is quite minor, and, enforcing the letter of the zoning law would not do much to advance its broader purpose.

Additionally, if the zoning laws covering your property have changed, and some aspect of it is now violating the new rules, these changes can usually not be enforced against you, because it would be unfair to apply a new law retroactively.

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How Can a Gilbert, Arizona Attorney Help?

If you are in the early stages of a major construction or remodeling project on your property, especially if it is in a residential area (where zoning laws tend to be most restrictive), you are likely to confront 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 guidance of a knowledgeable Gilbert, Arizona real estate attorney will greatly improve one's chances.

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Life in Gilbert

Gilbert is a Maricopa County city that was ranked 24th safest city in the United States based on FBI crime statistics. Gilbert also maintains a top-notch school system that earned the title of 36th best place to live by GreatSchools.org. A large percent of Gilbert's 209,000 residents is comprised of families and young professionals, unsurprisingly. The rapidly growing high technology, renewable energy, and life sciences economy supports a wide range of high paying jobs. In fact, the average household income in Gilbert is $98,213 and over 1/3 of the adults hold higher than a bachelor's degree.

There are some very reputable lawyers living in Gilbert and know the local courts systems very well. Gilbert lawyers advise clients on a wide range of cases. Lawyers in Gilbert are knowledgeable of local courts so they'll be able to work with you to determine the best course of action for your case and with which court you should file you claim.

Gilbert is an attractive community for its plentiful amenities too. There are a number of shopping centers that serve the area of Gilbert as well as movie theaters and fun parks. Gilbert offers a number of public parks with picnic and barbeque accommodations. Bike paths and lanes make it easy for cyclists to safely travel throughout Gilbert. Josh Betley, professional BMX rider, lives in Gilbert.

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