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Land Use, Zoning and Planning Law in California

The laws governing how land can and cannot be used in Camarillo, California are fairly difficult, 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 common zoning categories are single family residence, commercial, multi-unit housing, or industrial.

Local governments have many different reasons for enacting zoning laws, ranging from ensuring that residential areas are peaceful and quiet, to protecting property values. For example, 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 conducted in residential areas.

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

Suppose you find that some condition on your land is in violation of Camarillo, California's zoning laws. In cases like this, you have quite a few options.

The most noticeable 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.

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 Camarillo, California's zoning laws to the letter would not, in this case, advance their purposes.

Furthermore, if the zoning laws covering 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 Camarillo, California 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 face 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 help of a brilliant Camarillo, California real estate attorney will greatly improve one's chances.

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Life in Camarillo

Situated in sunny Ventura County, Camarillo, California is a city of about 65,000 (based a 2006 estimate). Camarillo, California is named for two brothers of Spanish descent who lived in the area before the arrival of Anglo settlers, from the Eastern U.S. They, and other "Californios," helped preserve some of the region's Spanish heritage, in the face of the mostly English influence that settlers from other parts of the U.S. brought with them.

Humans have lived in the area for over 10,000 years, and Camarillo, California is home to some important archeological sites relating to these ancient inhabitants. Camarillo, California is generally considered a "bedroom community" - a largely residential urban area from which most of the residents commute to work.

Camarillo, California is considered very livable, where the weather is usually sunny, and the temperatures mild. Furthermore, Camarillo, California's crime rates are far lower than the national average, for all types of crime.

Camarillo, California is also home to California State University, Channel Islands. The region is home to several major industrial and biotechnology firms.

It should come as no surprise, then, that the consumers of Camarillo's legal services tend to be fairly sophisticated. This draws in lawyers who are good at handling complex cases. This means that a Camarillo, California lawyer can probably handle just about any legal issue an individual is likely to encounter.

Whatever your legal issue, it's a near certainty that there's a Camarillo, California lawyer who can help you solve it.

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