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Land Use, Zoning and Planning Law in North Carolina

In Greensboro, North Carolina, there are laws which determine what can and can't be done on certain parcels of land. These laws get pretty involved sometimes, and aren't always quite accessible to laypersons. This article should serve as a good overview of these laws.

"Zoning" refers to a set of laws and regulations which state what use can be made of land in different parts of a city or county. Usually, localities are divided up into "zones," which are designated for specific categories of use, such as single-family residence, business, manufacturing, etc.

Local governments have various 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.

On the other hand, zoning laws recognize and attempt to accommodate the necessity of factories and other industrial activities. They just seek to ensure that such activities are performed in a way that they don't conflict with the rights of adjacent landowners to use and enjoy their property in peace.

What if My Property Violates Greensboro, North Carolina's Zoning Laws?

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

It should be noticeable 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.

What if, however, you've invested a substantial 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 typically 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 Greensboro, North Carolina's zoning laws, a variance will typically be granted.

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.

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How Can a Greensboro, North Carolina Attorney Help?

If you suddenly become involved in a zoning dispute with your local government, it's imperative to seek competent legal representation. The counsel of an efficient Greensboro, North Carolina real estate attorney can make it much easier for you to act within the law to use your own property as you wish, or at least be as free as possible to make improvements to your land.

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Life in Greensboro

Greensboro, North Carolina has many wonderful sights and attractions for everyone to enjoy.  For those who really want to experience the culture of Greensboro, there is more than enough to see.  Greensboro is filled with art galleries such as the Tyler White Gallery, Irene Cullis Gallery and the University of North Carolina's A&T State University Gallery.  Other cultural attractions include the Greensboro Symphony Hall, Livestock Players Musical Theatre, the International Civil Rights Center & Museum, and the Greensboro Historical Museum.

For those who enjoy some history along with culture, Greenboro has many attractions that serve an educational purpose by displaying the area's rich history.  These attractions include the Natural Science Center, Tannenbaum Historic Park, Bicentennial Garden & David Caldwell Historic Park, The Greensboro Arboretum, and War Memorial Stadium.  As you can see, each attraction in Greensboro includes a rich sense or culture or history.  Greensboro therefore guarantees that no visitor leave without being touched with the area's rich culture and historical background.

Greensboro is also home to many prestigious law firms whose practices include all areas of law, from criminal defense, to environmental, to corporate.  Therefore, the residents of Greensboro are ensured that their legal needs will be met by intelligent, reliable, and experienced lawyers capable of handling any legal matter. 

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