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Land Use, Zoning and Planning Law in California

The laws governing how land can and cannot be used in Hermosa Beach, 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 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 Hermosa Beach, California's Zoning Laws?

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

The most apparent 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.

What if, however, you've invested a significant amount of time and money into making an improvement on your property, only to find that it violates your local zoning laws in some minor way? In this case, you can apply for a variance. This is essentially an exception to the zoning rules. If declining to enforce these rules would not harm anyone, and would not do much to advance the purpose of Hermosa Beach, California's zoning laws, a variance will usually be granted.

Additionally, if you have been living on your property for a long time, and made improvements on it that complied with the zoning laws in effect at the time, a new zoning law that would be violated by your current use of your property, the new law cannot be enforced against you. The U.S. Constitution bars the passage of "ex post facto," or retroactive, laws. Once the laws take effect, however, you'll have to comply with the new zoning laws with respect to any new improvements you want to make on your property.

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How Can a Hermosa Beach, 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 dispute will be markedly improved if you hire an experienced Hermosa Beach, California real estate attorney to help.

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Life in Hermosa Beach

Hermosa Beach is a city located in Los Angeles County, California.  It has a population of about 19,000 and is known for its wonderful climate and beautiful beachfront location.  It is home to many celebrities such as Carson Daly and Jimmy Kimmel due to its location and excellent residential homes.

The entire city of Hermosa Beach, California is marked by the beach culture.  The beach area is perfect for beach recreational activities like surfing, paddleboarding, beach volleyball, and sunbathing.  Sea breezes help to keep the region remarkably clear of smog and pollutants.  The city holds many yearly events, the majority of which revolve around the beach scene.  Some of these events include Shakespeare by the Sea, the International Surf Festival, and the Hermosa Ironman triathlon.  Hermosa Beach also hosts the Hermosa Beach Film Festival, with screenings of short films held at the Hermosa Beach Playhouse.

Pier Avenue one of Hermosa Beach's main areas for dining, shopping, and night life.  The Hermosa Beach Pier can be found at the end of Pier Avenue.  Other places to visit in Hermosa Beach, California include Cypress Park, Fort Lots-o-Fun, and the city's skateboard park. 

Lawyers in Hermosa Beach, California represent clients in a diverse range of legal topics.  Hermosa Beach lawyers can provide much guidance and assistance when it comes to answering legal questions or representing clients in court.

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