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Land Use, Zoning and Planning Law in California

The laws controlling how land can and cannot be used in Beverly Hills, California 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.

Local governments have numerous 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 typically 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 Beverly Hills, California's Zoning Laws?

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

It should be evident 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.

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 breaks 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 Beverly Hills, California's zoning laws, a variance will normally be granted.

You also have considerable 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 Beverly Hills, California Attorney Help?

If you suddenly become involved in a zoning dispute with your local government, it's necessary to seek competent legal representation. The counsel of an accomplished Beverly Hills, California real estate attorney can make it much easier for you to act within the law to use your own property as you wish, or at least be as free as possible to make improvements to your land.

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Life in Beverly Hills

Beverly Hills, California is located in Los Angeles County and is one of the most affluent cities in the country.  The city is famous for being a trendsetter for fashion, beautiful homes, and high-end living.  Many celebrities and movie stars live in Beverly Hills.  Along with Bel Air and Holmby Hills, it forms part of the "Platinum Triangle" of wealthy L.A. neighborhoods.
   
The area of Beverly Hills, California is home to a number of Fortune 500 companies, including Platinum Equity and John Paul Mitchell Systems.  In addition to major corporate businesses, the economy of Beverly Hills is supported by an abundance of high-end fashion retailers.  In particular, Rodeo Drive is a world-famous shopping district filled with cutting-edge fashion boutiques and designer label stores.  It is estimated that the operating budget of Beverly Hills, California exceeds $300 million, which is comparable to the Gross National Product for the entire British Virgin Islands.

Beverly Hills is frequently featured in movies and television shows.  A few familiar examples include the hit television series Beverly Hills, 90210 and the Beverly Hills Cop movies.  Other attractions include the Beverly Hills Hotel (referenced in the Eagles' song "Hotel California"), Walden Drive, and Beverly Gardens Park.

Lawyers in Beverly Hills, California perform legal services to meet the unique needs of the city's residents.  Many Beverly Hills lawyers file lawsuits at the West District branch of the Los Angeles Superior Court, located within the city.  Attorneys in Beverly Hills represent clients in both general and specific areas of law.

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