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Land Use, Zoning and Planning Law in Arizona

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

You have quite a few options if you find that a planned or prevailing use of your property breaks Yuma, Arizona's zoning regulations.

It should be obvious that the first option you should consider is to correct the violation. If doing this wouldn't cost you very much, or pose a massive inconvenience, you should obviously do this.

But what happens if you've invested a large amount of effort and money into improving your land, and you later discover that you've committed some relatively minor zoning violation? You are generally entitled to seek what is known as a "variance" in these cases. A variance is simply when your local government makes a small exception to the zoning rules to accommodate a small violation that would be difficult to fix. A variance will normally be granted if the violation doesn't harm anyone, and enforcing Yuma, Arizona's zoning laws to the letter would not, in this case, advance their purposes.

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

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How Can a Yuma, Arizona Attorney Help?

If you are in the process of physically altering your property, you are almost sure to face some contentions having to do with local zoning laws. If you find that zoning laws are making it very hard to use your property as you see fit, you may have legal recourse, normally in the form of a variance. Of course, your chances of success in any zoning dispute will be immeasurably increased if you have the assistance of a qualified Yuma, Arizona attorney.

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Life in Yuma

With a population of just under 80,000 Yuma, Arizona is one popular city to live and work. Because of the beautiful weather and location, over 85,000 retirees make the Yuma metropolitan area their home at least part of the year. In fact, Yuma is considered the sunniest place on earth according to the Guinness Book of World Records.

Catering to both their older and younger residents, Yuma has numerous golf courses, spas, malls, parks and other recreation centers. The picturesque city takes advantage of its location on the Colorado River and residents and visitors can enjoy the River by kayaking down on the weekend.

Yuma is home to a number of educational facilities including a branch of Northern Arizona University and the University of Phoenix. With such an emphasis on education, it is of little surprise that so many great lawyers choose to live and practice in Yuma. Yuma lawyers are some of the best in the business and enjoy the sunny city and helping their client resolve his or her legal issue as quickly as possible.

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