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Land Use, Zoning and Planning Law in California

The laws controlling how land can and cannot be used in Fountain Valley, California are fairly complicated, 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. Typically, 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.

While zoning laws appear to be geared just toward protecting residents, they also protect industry, by ensuring that they are free to conduct their business without getting caught up in the numerous legal disputes that would be inevitable if they were closer to a residential area.

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

If a condition on your property breaks the local zoning laws of Fountain Valley, California, there are a few different solutions.

First of all, and most simply, the owner could just fix the violation. If the violation isn't very substantial, and fixing it wouldn't cost very much, this is likely the best and simplest option.

Occasionally, however, a landowner wants to make improvements on their property which might constitute a slight violation of Fountain Valley, California's zoning laws. In this case, the owner can apply for a variance - an official agreement from the local government to not enforce a certain zoning regulation. Usually, variances are granted when the violation is quite minor, and, enforcing the letter of the zoning law would not do much to advance its broader purpose.

You are also protected if your land is currently in complete compliance with local zoning regulations, but the area where your land sits is re-zoned, and your property is suddenly not in compliance with the new zoning regulations. Usually, these new regulations cannot be utilized to force you to change existing conditions on your property. No laws can be applied retroactively, under the U.S. Constitution. Of course, if you make any improvements on your land after the law changes, you'll have to comply with the new law.

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How Can a Fountain Valley, California Attorney Help?

If you suddenly become involved in a zoning dispute with your local government, it's imperative to seek competent legal representation. The counsel of an efficient Fountain Valley, 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 Fountain Valley

Fountain Valley, California has a population of about 55,000 and is located in Orange County.  It was named after the many artesian wells found in the area during the time of the city's founding.  Fountain Valley is mostly a residential bedroom community.

As a suburb, much of Fountain Valley, California is comprised of residential neighborhoods.  However, the city has experienced a significant increase in commercial employment, particularly in the area known as the "Southpark" district.  Southpark district is home to offices for several major corporations, including Starbucks and D-Link.  The national headquarters for Hyundai Motor America is also located in Fountain Valley.

One of the main attractions in the city of Fountain Valley, California is Mile Square Regional Park.  The park contains three different 18-hole golf courses, two spectacular lakes, sports fields, picnic areas, and a nature area filled with native Californian plants.  Mile Square Regional Park also has a recreation center complete with tennis, racquetball, and basketball courts.  Fountain Valley is also just minutes away from many Southern California amusement parks. 

Lawyers in Fountain Valley, California help the community by assisting in a wide range of different legal fields.  Fountain Valley lawyers can help answer legal questions, provide explanations of various laws, and represent clients in court.

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