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Land Use, Zoning and Planning Law in California
The laws controlling how land can and cannot be used in La Habra, 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 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.
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 various legal disputes that would be inevitable if they were closer to a residential area.
What if My Property Violates La Habra, California's Zoning Laws?
You have quite a few options if you find that a planned or prevailing use of your property breaks La Habra, California's zoning regulations.
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.
However, it isn't always practical or affordable to correct a minor violation of a zoning law. For instance, 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 La Habra, 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 certain provision of a zoning law to a single violation. These aren't always granted, but usually 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.
You also have substantial 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 La Habra, 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 La Habra, 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 La HabraLa Habra is located in Orange County, California. The city has a lot of history to it because in the 1800s, the area was seen as a natural path to the north. Spanish explorers discovered the area, and Mariano Reyes Roldan was granted the lan. Later, Abel Stearns purchased the land from him. Therefore, many La Habra residents pride themselves over the rich history associated with their properties.
Famous residents include Rusty Anderson, Natalie Golda, Cathy Cooper, Richard Nixon, Ann Meyers, Jenna Haze, Jennifer Hanson, Anne Ramsay, and Norma Zimmer. It is not hard to believe that so many well-known people would want to own property in such a beautiful, history-rich area.
Being in Orange County, La Habra is a short drive away from beautiful beaches, many quaint downtown areas with great shopping and dining, and gorgeous properties to admire and/or live in. The wonderful weather of Orange County is an added plus.
Residents also have the luxury of having top-notch firms with excellent attorneys near by. Orange County is home to many firms of all sizes, that practice in all areas of law, and attract and train some of the nation's most brilliant legal minds. Therefore La Habra residents have no tension for any legal need of theirs can be handled well by the legal force in Orange County.