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Land Use, Zoning and Planning Law in Arizona

The laws governing how land can and cannot be used in Phoenix, 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 Phoenix, Arizona's Zoning Laws?

If something on your property is in violation of a Phoenix, Arizona zoning law, the landowner has various options.

The most obvious solution is to correct the problem, so your property is no longer in violation of local zoning laws. If the violation is minor, and correcting it would not be very costly, this is likely the best way to go.

What if, however, you've invested a substantial 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 typically 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 Phoenix, Arizona's zoning laws, a variance will typically be granted.

You are also protected if your land is currently in full compliance with local zoning regulations, but the area where your land sits is re-zoned, and your property is suddenly not in compliance with the new zoning regulations. Usually, these new regulations cannot be used to force you to change existing conditions on your property. No laws can be applied retroactively, under the U.S. Constitution. Of course, if you make any improvements on your land after the law changes, you'll have to comply with the new law.

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How Can a Phoenix, 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 conflict will be markedly improved if you hire an efficient Phoenix, Arizona real estate attorney to help.

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Life in Phoenix

It is in Phoenix, Arizona that one can find the "Jewel of the Desert."  The Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa is known all over the world for its gorgeous 39 acre property.  In fact, celebrities, U.S. Presidents and millions of tourists stay at this wonderful resort.

Phoenix has much more to offer its tourists alongside the beautiful Biltmore.  Some popular attractions include the Arizona Science Center, Camelback Mountain, Castles n' Coasters, Chase Field, Encanto Park, and Orpheum Theatre.  Phoenix offers a mix array of attractions ranging from those displaying the beautiful desert and Mother Nature, as well as those with a modern, metropolitan touch.

Phoenix being the industrial hub of Arizona is home to many large, mid-size, and small boutique law firms.  In fact, the University of Arizona is a top law school that produces great legal minds every year.  Therefore, Phoenix citizens can rest assure because any of their legal needs can easily be taken care of. 

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