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Navigating Government Regulations in Land Use Disputes: Tips for Property Owners

The power to regulate land use is an aspect of the police power reserved to the states.  The states have generally regarded land use control as a local matter and so have delegated most of their power to regulate land use to local units of power.  Thusly, local governments may deny or revoke various forms of property rights in certain circumstances, but their power to do so is subject to limitations.  There are times when government oversteps its boundaries and issues unreasonable decisions regarding property rights.

As a property owner, there are several things you should know about government regulations in land use disputes.

Familiarize Yourself with Relevant Regulations

Land use planning is the deliberate, systematic development of real estate through methods such as zoning, environmental impact studies, and master plans put in place by government entities for the public benefit.  It could be said that all zoning infringes on the property owner’s right to unfettered use of the property, but public interest will often outweigh that ideology.  However, zoning laws, and rezoning laws, along with other regulations, can be misused.  Any person or company involved with commercial, industrial or residential property needs to understand a variety of land use issues.  While this can seem like a bottomless pit of information, you need only familiarize yourself with the basics so that you can make an initial assessment of your individual issues.  An experienced Florida real estate lawyer can further explain the legal requirements and pitfalls that you may be faced with.

Gather Evidence and Documentation of Your Land Use

Good record-keeping is a must in all land use cases.  Documentation, such as contracts, land certificates, deeds, emails, letters, etc. are all highly reliable forms of evidence and will go a long way in determining your case.  Because all land use cases are different, the actual types of recorded documents that will affect your case will be different.  Also, keep in mind that the Clerk-Recorder’s Office cannot give legal advice, so it is recommended that you contact your own legal advisor when considering which documentation you may need.

Connect With Legal Professionals to Assess Your Case

We recommend that you connect with a legal professional sooner rather than later.  Just because you are familiarizing yourself with regulations and have started to gather evidence doesn’t mean you should go it alone.  It just means that you can talk intelligently with a real estate lawyer to get the ball rolling.  They will give you solid legal advice on what steps to take and what documentation that you will still need to gather to support your case.

Consider All Potential Solutions to the Dispute

Your legal professional will be able to address all of the possible solutions to your land use dispute.  Carefully consider each solution and what it means for you.  There may be certain avenues that you haven’t thought about and there may be compromises that may need to be considered.  Understanding all options available to you will help you to make an informed decision going forward.

Remain Diligent in Your Negotiations with the Government

Generally, local government departments want you to throw in the towel if your negotiations hit a snag.  It’s important to know that you still have options, and can usually appeal any decision.  Exhaustion of available non-judicial remedies is an important consideration in any potential land use challenge.  Your legal professional can guide you through the negotiation process as long as you are committed to the outcome you believe you deserve.

Land Use Dispute?  I’m Here to Help!

I’m Rob Robinson, and land use disputes can be complex and challenging.  I will fight for your private property rights and make sure that your property is not subject to unfair decisions, unreasonable and/or inordinate burdens.  My extensive experience in commercial and residential real estate law will help you mitigate problems and design optimal solutions for your land use dispute.  I have successfully obtained variances and conditional uses for many of my clients.  I have also served for 14 years as the legal counsel to a municipality.  The time sitting on the other side of the table has afforded me special knowledge and legal proficiency in the areas of local government.

If you have a land use dispute, be sure to get in touch with my office as soon as possible.  I will handle your legal matters with individualized care and attention.

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