San Mateo Zoning Attorney

Find the right Zoning Planning & Land Use attorney in San Mateo, CA

Zoning Planning & Land Use Law in California

The laws governing how land can and cannot be used in San Mateo, 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 also serves the interests of industry, as well as residents. By ensuring that there are places where heavy industry can take place, well-planned zoning regulations will ensure that industrialists are free to practice their trade, and that residents will not be disturbed by those activities, which makes industry more efficient by helping it avoid costly nuisance lawsuits.

Possible Outcomes of Boundary and Title Disputes in San Mateo, California

If a condition on your property violates the local zoning laws of San Mateo, California, there are a few different solutions.

The most noticeable 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.

However, it isn't always practical or affordable to correct a minor violation of a zoning law. For example, 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 San Mateo, 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 particular provision of a zoning law to a single violation. These aren't always granted, but typically 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.

Further, 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.

What Can A San Mateo, California Attorney Do?

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 San Mateo, California real estate attorney to help.

Talk to a Real Estate Law Attorney now!

Life in San Mateo

San Mateo, California is a city in San Mateo County. It has a population of about 100,000 people, making it one of the larger suburbs in the San Francisco Bay Area.

San Mateo was first settled by Europeans in 1789, when the Spanish established a missionary and military presence in the area now known as San Mateo.

Modernly, the economy of San Mateo, California is driven by education, local government, finance, and retail. The largest employer in San Mateo is the San Mateo County Community College District, which employs over 1,900 people, including several San Mateo, California lawyers.

If you live in San Mateo, California and are in need of legal assistance, it's very likely that there's a good San Mateo, California attorney who can help. Lawyers in San Mateo, California are able to handle a wide range of legal issues.

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