Los Gatos Zoning Attorney

Find the right Zoning Planning & Land Use attorney in Los Gatos, CA

Zoning Planning & Land Use Law in California

The laws governing how land can and cannot be used in Los Gatos, California are fairly difficult, and can be confusing to laypersons. This should provide a basic overview.

Local governments will normally divide the city or town into sections, called "zones," each of which is designated for a particular use, such as residential homes, commercial businesses, agriculture, manufacturing, etc. This process is known as "zoning."

Zoning serves many different purposes - but it its main one is to increase or preserve property values by ensuring that conflicting uses don't result in legal disputes. Obviously, if you bought a house in a residential neighborhood, and your neighbor could simply convert his property into a steel mill, your property's value as a residential lot would decrease substantially.

Zoning laws typically acknowledge the necessities of things like factories, sewage treatment plants, and stockyards, but recognize that such activities shouldn't be conducted in residential areas.

Possible Outcomes of Boundary and Title Disputes in Los Gatos, California

You have quite a few options if you find that a planned or current use of your property violates Los Gatos, California's zoning regulations.

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 substantially interfere with your use of your property, this is probably the best course of action.

But what happens if you've invested a large amount of effort and money into improving your land, and you later discover that you've committed some relatively minor zoning violation? You are generally entitled to seek what is known as a "variance" in these cases. A variance is simply when your local government makes a small exception to the zoning rules to accommodate a small violation that would be difficult to fix. A variance will normally be granted if the violation doesn't harm anyone, and enforcing Los Gatos, California's zoning laws to the letter would not, in this case, advance their purposes.

You also have considerable 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.

What Can A Los Gatos, California Attorney Do?

If you are in the process of physically altering your property, you are almost certain to face some contentions having to do with local zoning laws. If you find that zoning laws are making it very hard to use your property as you see fit, you may have legal recourse, normally in the form of a variance. Of course, your chances of success in any zoning dispute will be immeasurably increased if you have the help of a qualified Los Gatos, California attorney.

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Life in Los Gatos

Los Gatos, California is a city in Santa Clara County, in the southern portion of the San Francisco Bay Area. Its population is currently about 25,000 people. "Los Gatos" is Spanish for "the cats." The name refers to the mountain lions which used to roam the area.

The nearest large city to Los Gatos is San Jose. It is also a fairly short drive from the other major Bay Area cities of San Francisco and Oakland, meaning that residents of Los Gatos, California have access to a wide variety of amenities and job opportunities that these three large, and very different, cities offer.

Being located in the Silicon Valley region of California, several high-tech companies, including Netflix, ImageShack, Cryptic Studios, among others, are headquartered in Los Gatos, California.

Thanks to the presence of companies like those, many national and international law firms have Silicon Valley offices, many of them close to Los Gatos. Of course, you don't need to be able to afford the rates charged by a large law firm to get quality legal representation in Los Gatos, California. There are many quality and affordable Los Gatos, California lawyers who can help you with almost any legal issue you might be facing.

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