Santa Clara Zoning Attorney

Find the right Zoning Planning & Land Use attorney in Santa Clara, CA

Zoning Planning & Land Use Law in California

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

Local governments will typically 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 various different purposes - but it its basic 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 considerably.

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 proficient by helping it avoid costly nuisance lawsuits.

Possible Outcomes of Boundary and Title Disputes in Santa Clara, California

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

It should be evident that the first option you should consider is to correct the violation. If doing this wouldn't cost you very much, or pose a huge inconvenience, you should obviously do this.

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 typically be granted if the violation doesn't harm anyone, and enforcing Santa Clara, California's zoning laws to the letter would not, in this case, advance their purposes.

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.

What Can A Santa Clara, California Attorney Do?

If you are in the early stages of a major construction or remodeling project on your property, especially if it is in a residential area (where zoning laws tend to be most restrictive), you are likely to confront one zoning law issue or another. Of course, having read this article, you should now be aware that you have rights when it comes to contesting a zoning law as applied to you. While such contests do not always come out on the side of the landowner, the guidance of a knowledgeable Santa Clara, California real estate attorney will greatly improve one's chances.

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Life in Santa Clara

Santa Clara, California is located in Santa Clara County in the heart of the Silicon Valley. Many advanced technology and semi-conductor companies are headquartered in the city, including Intel, McAfee, Applied Materials, and Agilent Technologies. Sun Microsystems and Oracle are also major employers in the area. The city of Santa Clara owns and operates its own electric utility facility called Silicon Valley Power. As a result, electricity rates are considerably cheaper in Santa Clara.

Aside from its central role in the Silicon Valley semiconductor boom, Santa Clara, California is home to a diverse array of facilities. Buck Shaw Stadium is located in the city, and is home to the Major League Soccer team the San Jose Earthquakes. The San Francisco 49ers holds practices in Santa Clara and is also headquartered there. Great America, a popular amusement park in the Bay Area, is also located in Santa Clara. The city also hosts a number of outdoor events such as the Art Wine Festival in September and Concerts in the Park.

Santa Clara is a major city for lawyers and attorneys, as the Santa Clara County Courthouse maintains a branch in the city. Many lawyers in Santa Clara, California received their legal education at Santa Clara School of Law. Santa Clara lawyers are available to assist clients in a diverse range of legal fields.

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