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Land Use, Zoning and Planning Law in California
The laws controlling how land can and cannot be used in Diamond Bar, 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 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 don't exist just to protect residential use - it also protects individuals who engage in other types of use of land, by making sure that they are able to do their business, without bothering neighboring landowners, and thereby preventing legal disputes.
What if My Property Violates Diamond Bar, California's Zoning Laws?
If something on your property is in violation of a Diamond Bar, California zoning law, the landowner has many avenues.
It should be noticeable 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.
Of course, just fixing a zoning violation isn't always modest or easy, and may interfere with your planned use of your property. For instance, you might have just undertaken a considerable remodeling of your home, and later found out that some small part of it technically doesn't conform to Diamond Bar, California's zoning laws. If this happens to you, you can apply to your local zoning board for what's known as a "variance." This is simply a decree by the zoning board that the particular rule your property violates no longer applies. The Supreme Court has held that local zoning boards have to grant variances when the violation is extremely minor, and enforcing the ordinance would be unduly burdensome and not in the public interest.
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 Diamond Bar, California Attorney Help?
If you find yourself facing zoning or other land use issues, it's critical to have good legal advice. A seasoned Diamond Bar, 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 Diamond BarDiamond Bar, California is a largely residential city located in the eastern region of Los Angeles County. It is conveniently situated where the Orange and Pomona freeways meet, just about 25 miles away from downtown Los Angeles. Diamond Bar's location and economy make it an excellent commuter town with many employment opportunities.
The city was named after a type of ranching brand known as a "diamond over a bar", which reflects the city's historical foundations in cattle ranching. The ranching industry helped lay the foundation for Diamond Bar's economic progress. Currently, top employers in Diamond Bar, California include major organizations such as Allstate, Traveler's, and South Coast Air Quality Management District. Many Diamond Bar residents enjoy a close commute to other employment sites nearby in the region.
Diamond Bar is particularly known for its focus on family life and communal events. For example, the city holds weekend Farmer's Markets, regular Book Fairs, and other similar functions. Residents enjoy participating events such as the Holiday Home Decorating Contest. Other attractions in Diamond Bar, California include the T.H. Pendergast Museum and a lush golf course. The city was also one of the first master-planned communities in the U.S.
Lawyers in Diamond Bar, California often assist clients at the Los Angeles County Superior Court, located nearby. Diamond Bar lawyers are able to offer assistance in a broad range of legal categories and topics. Many Diamond Bar attorneys participate in local community events and functions.