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Land Use, Zoning and Planning Law in California

The laws controlling how land can and cannot be used in Baldwin Park, California are fairly perplexing, 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. Usually, 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.

Local governments have various different reasons for enacting zoning laws, ranging from ensuring that residential areas are peaceful and quiet, to safeguarding property values. For instance, most people wouldn't buy a home in a neighborhood where they knew it was possible for a neighbor to turn their house into a factory.

Zoning laws generally acknowledge the necessities of things like factories, sewage treatment plants, and stockyards, but recognize that such activities shouldn't be done in residential areas.

What if My Property Violates Baldwin Park, California's Zoning Laws?

If something on your property is in violation of a Baldwin Park, California zoning law, the landowner has several avenues.

It should be clear, however, that the ideal solution is to just fix any condition on your property which is in violation of a local zoning law. If the violation is not significant, and correcting it won't significantly interfere with your use of your property, this is likely the ideal course of action.

However, it isn't always practical or affordable to correct a minor violation of a zoning law. For instance, suppose you have just spent a large amount of money and effort remodeling a house to turn it into your dream home. You thought you were in total compliance with local zoning laws when you did this, but find out that there is some small, technical violation of Baldwin Park, California's zoning laws. In these cases, you have recourse in the form of a variance. You are entitled to petition the local zoning board to grant you a variance, which is an official decision not to apply a certain provision of a zoning law to a single violation. These aren't always granted, but generally have to be granted if the violation doesn't interfere with anyone else's use of their property, and doesn't thwart the purposes of local zoning laws.

You also have significant protections if a zoning law changes, and you find that the land you've been living on for years is suddenly in violation of the new law. In general, zoning laws cannot apply to structures and uses which were built or commenced before the law was changed. Under the U.S. Constitution, it's not permissible for state or local governments to pass laws which have retroactive effect. You should know, however, that any future changes you make to your property will have to comply with the new zoning law.

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How Can a Baldwin Park, California Attorney Help?

If you find yourself facing zoning or other land use issues, it's critical to have good legal advice. A reputable Baldwin Park, California attorney will help you work within the law to ensure that you are as free as possible to make the use of your land that you want.

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Life in Baldwin Park

Baldwin Park is a city located in Los Angeles County.  It has a population of about 75,000 people and is a very family-oriented community.  Nestled in the quaint San Gabriel Valley of California, Baldwin Park was founded as early as 1860.  Its early economy revolved around trade and enterprises along the San Gabriel River.  Top employers currently include Kaiser Permanente and the Home Depot.  Baldwin Park, California was home to the first In-N-Out Burger stand.

Today, Baldwin Park California is known for being a hub of arts and culture development.  The Arts and Recreation Center (ARC) in Baldwin Park is a unique facility offering a variety of specialty classes for families, adults, and children.  The ARC has a multi-purpose room, a dance and artist studio, and a banquet hall.  Barnes Park Family Recreation Center is a similar facility in Baldwin Park and has received an Award of Excellence.

Many visitors and tourists to California enjoy events at Baldwin Park.  A few examples of city events include a New Year's Day Celebration, the Veteran's Day Ceremony, and "Concert in the Park" series lasting several weeks in the summer.  The Baldwin Historical Museum is another favorite destination. 

Attorneys in Baldwin Park, California often assist clients by offering legal advice and providing representation in court.  They have experience in interpreting the unique laws and codes of the city.  Baldwin Park lawyers are available to assist the community in a wide range of legal fields and topics.

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