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Land Use, Zoning and Planning Law in Texas

Lewisville, Texas has laws which regulate how individual parcels of land can be used, and how they cannot. These rules aren't always simple, and this article should serve as an introduction to some of the most prevalent issues that homeowners might face, though it is not meant to turn a layperson into an expert.

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."

Local governments have several different reasons for enacting zoning laws, ranging from ensuring that residential areas are peaceful and quiet, to protecting property values. For example, 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.

While zoning laws appear to be geared just toward protecting residents, they also protect industry, by ensuring that they are free to conduct their business without getting caught up in the several legal disputes that would be inevitable if they were closer to a residential area.

What if My Property Violates Lewisville, Texas's Zoning Laws?

If something on your property is in violation of a Lewisville, Texas zoning law, the landowner has various options.

The most obvious 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.

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 violates 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 Lewisville, Texas's zoning laws, a variance will typically be granted.

Additionally, 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.

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How Can a Lewisville, Texas Attorney Help?

If you are in the process of physically altering your property, you are almost certain to face some concerns having to do with local zoning laws. If you find that zoning laws are making it very challenging to use your property as you see fit, you may have legal recourse, typically in the form of a variance. Of course, your chances of success in any zoning dispute will be immeasurably increased if you have the help of a qualified Lewisville, Texas attorney.

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Life in Lewisville

Lewisville, Texas is a medium-sized city in Denton County, and it is part of the greater Dallas-Fort Worth Metropolitan area.

At the 2000 Census, the population of Lewisville was estimated to be 77,000. However, current estimates place the population at over 100,000 people, making it one of the fastest-growing cities in the country.

Lewisville, Texas was incorporated in 1925, making it one of the oldest incorporated cities in the Dallas area. In its early history, growth was very slow, with the economy largely depending on relatively small-scale agricultural operations. After the construction of the Lewisville Dam, creating a large reservoir in the area, growth began to accelerate.

In the mid-1960s, Lewisville became one of the first cities in Texas to racially integrate its public schools.

When the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport opened in 1973, the population of Lewisville and other nearby towns exploded, partially attributed to the thousands of jobs the airport brought to the area.

Thanks to its rapid growth, and proximity to one of the country's major metropolitan centers, the legal community of Lewisville, Texas is highly diverse and well-developed. From large, national law firms, to small firms and solo practices, chances are good that you can find a Lewisville, Texas lawyer who is the right match for you.

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