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Downey and Use, Zoning & Planning Lawyers, CA

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Land Use, Zoning and Planning Law in California

The laws governing how land can and cannot be used in Downey, California are fairly complex, 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 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 don't exist just to protect residential use - it also protects people 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 avoiding legal disputes.

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

If something on your property is in violation of a Downey, California zoning law, the landowner has several options.

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

However, it isn't always practical or affordable to correct a minor violation of a zoning law. For example, 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 Downey, 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 particular 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.

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

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How Can a Downey, California Attorney Help?

If you suddenly become involved in a zoning dispute with your local government, it's essential to seek competent legal representation. The counsel of an experienced Downey, 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 Downey

Downey, California is a city in Los Angeles County, California. Its current population of about 112,000 people.

Downey, California is best known as being the birthplace of the Apollo Program - the U.S. space program that ultimately landed men on the moon. Several aerospace corporations had facilities in Downey, California, such as Rockwell and Boeing. Some of these companies built the Apollo spacecraft and, later, many components of the Space Shuttle. These companies also employed many white-collar professionals, from engineers to Downey, California lawyers.

Nowadays, the economy of Downey, California is dominated by sectors such as healthcare, education, services, and government.

Thanks to its diverse and solid economy, the lawyers who live and work in Downey, California are able to handle a wide range of legal issues. If you need legal advice, a Downey, California attorney can help.

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