Zoning Planning & Land Use Law in Florida

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

Localities usually divide their jurisdictions into segments, referred to as "zones," on which particular types of use are permitted. For example, one area of a town might be zoned for residential use, a nearby one for commercial use, and areas on the outskirts zoned for industrial use. This practice is called "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 don't exist just to protect residential use - it also protects individuals who engage in other types of use of land, by making sure that they are able to do their business, without bothering neighboring landowners, and thereby avoiding legal disputes.

Possible Outcomes of Boundary and Title Disputes in Oldsmar, Florida

Zoning laws are commonly quite extensive and meticulous, and it's extremely possible that your property in Oldsmar, Florida contains some minor zoning violation that you don't know about. If this happens to you, you have considerable legal protections.

First, and perhaps most evidently, you can correct the violation. If the violation is relatively minor, and correcting it would not cost you much or be a considerable burden, this might be the best way to go.

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 Oldsmar, Florida's zoning laws to the letter would not, in this case, advance their purposes.

You are also protected if your land is currently in full compliance with local zoning regulations, but the area where your land sits is re-zoned, and your property is suddenly not in compliance with the new zoning regulations. Typically, these new regulations cannot be used to force you to change existing conditions on your property. No laws can be applied retroactively, under the U.S. Constitution. Of course, if you make any improvements on your land after the law changes, you'll have to comply with the new law.

What Can A Oldsmar, Florida Attorney Do?

If you find yourself facing zoning or other land use issues, it's important to have good legal advice. A brilliant Oldsmar, Florida attorney will help you work within the law to ensure that you are as free as possible to make the use of your land that you want.