Grand Rapids Zoning Attorney

Find the right Zoning Planning & Land Use attorney in Grand Rapids, MI

Zoning Planning & Land Use Law in Michigan

The laws that regulate how land can be used, and what structures can be built on individual pieces of land in Grand Rapids, Michigan can sometimes be a bit difficult. This article will not make its reader an expert, but should serve as a good introduction to the subject.

Localities usually divide their jurisdictions into segments, referred to as "zones," on which particular types of use are permitted. For instance, 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."

Local governments have numerous 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.

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

Possible Outcomes of Boundary and Title Disputes in Grand Rapids, Michigan

You have quite a few options if you find that a planned or prevailing use of your property breaks Grand Rapids, Michigan's zoning regulations.

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

What if, however, you've invested a considerable amount of time and money into making an improvement on your property, only to find that it breaks your local zoning laws in some minor way? In this case, you can apply for a variance. This is basically an exception to the zoning rules. If declining to enforce these rules would not harm anyone, and would not do much to advance the purpose of Grand Rapids, Michigan's zoning laws, a variance will normally be granted.

Additionally, zoning ordinances cannot be applied against you retroactively. For instance, suppose you built a 3-story house on your property, and your property was zoned to allow 3-story houses to be built at the time of construction. And then, years later, the area you reside in is re-zoned, to only allow 2-story houses. Can the local government force you to remove a whole level of your house? Of course not. Applying a law retroactively is unconstitutional. On the other hand, any future changes you want to make to your property will have to comply with the applicable zoning ordinance as it is currently written.

What Can A Grand Rapids, Michigan 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 Grand Rapids, Michigan real estate attorney to help.

Talk to a Real Estate Law Attorney now!

Life in Grand Rapids

Grand Rapids, MI is a city serving as the county seat of Kent County. It is a fairly large city, with a population of slightly under 200,000 people. Human habitation of the area now known as Grand Rapids can be traced back at least 2,000 years, when elements of the Hopewell Culture (a large group of tribes which extended from Canada down the Southeastern U.S., which developed cultural similarities through centuries of trade) lived in the area. By about 1700AD, the Ottawa Indians had moved into the area, and established a permanent presence. Europeans first reached Grand Rapids in the early 1800s, with the first settlers being missionaries and fur traders. In the early 20th Century, Grand Rapids, Michigan became known as "the furniture city" due to its large natural supply of lumber, which lead many famous furniture manufacturers and designers to set up shop there.Modernly, furniture and automotive industries still maintain a presence in Grand Rapids, Michigan. However, their presence has gradually waned over the past decades.

If you live in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and need a good attorney, chances are good that you can find one. Grand Rapids, Michigan lawyers are very qualified to handle virtually any case that comes into their door.

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