How a Real Estate Lawyer Can Help with Zoning Appeals

How a Real Estate Lawyer Can Help with Zoning AppealsZoning and other land use issues are often complex and can cause delays and financial losses for businesses and individuals. Pennsylvania real estate lawyers help clients with land use applications, variances, zoning appeals, and issues involving property line and easement disputes. If you are dealing with any of these issues, it is important to find an attorney who is familiar with local, state, and federal laws and regulations.

What are Zoning Ordinances?

Zoning ordinances are rules and standards for how property in specific locations may be used for residential or commercial purposes. Zoning standards usually regulate building height, lot size, and placement of structures. Zoning ordinances typically outline the procedures for handling zoning rule infractions and penalties.

Zoning Ordinances are Usually Local

Property owners may go to a local zoning board or city council to request a specific use for their property or to seek variances for matters such as building height. An owner may also go to a zoning board to appeal a decision that has already been made by a local town or city’s building department. Although it is common for individuals to handle zoning appeals on their own, having a lawyer for real estate or business liability lawyer who is well-versed in local zoning laws can help you avoid costly, unnecessary delays and ensure your interests are protected.

Why Do I Need a Real Estate Lawyer to Help with Zoning Problems?

An attorney can assist you with the zoning process from beginning to end, and may be able to help you avoid the need for an appeal. They can assist you with your initial land use application, help you apply for variances, and advise you of the best course of action to meet your goals. It is essential to approach land use issues and disputes in the right way and to properly follow all procedures and deadlines.

Zoning Appeal Hearings

If you must take your case to court or before an appeals board, it is critical to be specific about your requests and why you are asking for them. The best contract lawyers advise clients to put everything in writing. One way to get the ball rolling on your appeal is to have your attorney write a letter to the board in advance that outlines what you are looking for and why, and how it may benefit the community. This gives zoning board members a chance to review (and sometimes discuss) your case in advance.

Zoning requests often affect the people who live near a property.  Your lawyer may want to talk with neighbors and other members of the community to get their input on your zoning request. If they are in support of your intentions, your attorney may request letters to submit to the appeals board or even ask them to attend the hearing on your behalf. Having the support of the community can go a long way to achieving the goal of getting your zoning request approved.

Zoning appeals usually come with very tight deadlines. Missing this deadline could mean that your appeal will not be heard at all. Knowing how the process works is critical – an attorney can help you understand the complexities of the process and represent your interests at the hearing.

If you need help with legal matters surrounding real estate, business, or estate planning, our collaborative team of property lawyers, business attorneys, and living trusts lawyers provide the top-notch legal representation you can trust.