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Land Use, Zoning and Planning Law in California

The laws governing how land can and cannot be used in Garden Grove, 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 several 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.

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 several legal disputes that would be inevitable if they were closer to a residential area.

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

If a condition on your property violates the local zoning laws of Garden Grove, 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 considerable, and fixing it wouldn't cost very much, this is probably the best and easiest option.

Of course, simply fixing a zoning violation isn't always modest or easy, and may interfere with your planned use of your property. For example, 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 Garden Grove, 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 are also protected if your land is currently in full 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. Typically, these new regulations cannot be used 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 Garden Grove, California Attorney Help?

If you want to make improvements to your property, apply for a variance, or contest a zoning regulation as being applied to you retroactively, you have a right to do so, including some constitutional protections. However, your chances of prevailing in a zoning disagreement will be markedly improved if you hire an accomplished Garden Grove, California real estate attorney to help.

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Life in Garden Grove

Garden Grove is located near the beautiful area of Orange County, California.  Garden Grove is a quaint city of approximately 170,883 and is known for being home to Robert H. Schuller's Crystal Cathedral. 

The city primarily strives from the hotel industry and retail locations of all types.  The area also has offices for Air Industries Corp., Driessen Aircraft Interior Systems, GKN Aerospace Transparency Systems, and Mircrosemi Integrated Products. For all legal inquiries, residents of Garden Grove look to Orange County.  Orange County is home to a few law schools, as well as large, mid-size, and small firms offering legal services in all legal practice areas. 

Attractions in Garden Grove include the Crystal Cathedral referred to above, and the Atlantis Play Center, a great spot for families.  Other popular attractions are located nearby in Orange County and include Disneyland, California Adventures, Downtown Disney, Long Beach, Newport Beach, and Huntington Beach.  All in all, Garden Grove is a small city in a beautiful area that offers its residents a wonder quality of life. 

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