Land Use & Zoning Attorneys in Birmingham, Alabama
Land zoning and use law falls under the purview of the use and development of private and public real estate. Zoning is a commonly used regulation by municipalities for controlling local property development. It is mostly used in terms of land use. Trespassing, easements, and eminent domain are a few other legal issues pertaining to land zoning.
Typically, a zoning regulation divides the municipality into commercial, residential, and industrial zones. Hence, zoning laws are intended to create a sense of order and efficiency and to ensure that each zone is used for its intended purposes.
Does Your Business Fall Under the Zoning Ordinances?
Nearly every city in Alabama and the rest of the country has an established zoning ordinance. There are other regulations around it to dictate where a business may set up shop or not. You need to ensure that the zoning ordinance in your considered business area permits your particular type of business operation before you commit to that location.
It is possible for zoning enforcement officials to close down a business for improperly operating in an area where that type of business is not allowed in the zoning regulations. For instance, businesses engaged in light manufacturing are usually not allowed to operate from residential and commercial areas in a city. It can be difficult to identify whether an area is zoned for a particular type of business.
You should consider speaking with a real estate attorney for reviewing the different zoning ordinances. Lawyers can look at maps and plats for defining the location of various zones.
Occupational Licenses and Construction Permits
Many business owners and homeowners encounter a common problem in securing construction permits. Permits of this kind are required for all activities, such as installing a fence or painting the exterior of a building among other complex projects. Construction permits are also required when considering any work that may alter the exterior appearance of a building or affect the wiring and plumbing inside.
Cities regulate the location of businesses by granting occupational licenses and construction permits. Such matters may be handled by a different department. An attorney can help you contact the appropriate officials for determining the permits and licenses required before you invest anything in the property.
Zoning Appeals Board
Zoning ordinances may make it difficult for you to make changes to your home or operate a certain type of business. However, there may be relief for this. Many cities have a board for zoning appeals or zoning adjustments. This board is responsible for reviewing the zoning complaints and ordinances. You may be able to appeal to the group for receiving a variance or changing the zoning ordinance.
Variances are special permissions for using a property for a certain purpose that is not permitted by the zoning ordinances. The group can also permit you to use the property for a ‘non-conforming’ purpose in certain circumstances. For instance, the board may allow the property to be used for a specific purpose that was previously allowed but has since become illegal after a change in the zoning ordinance.
Permits for Conditional Use
Conditional use permits are required by most zoning ordinances. This means that an extra permit may be required by a business even if the business purpose falls within the purview of intended use for the area. For instance, a recycling business may require a conditional use permit even if the factory is being set up in an industrial area. This is because the recycling factory would spew noxious waste or fumes.
Do You Need an Attorney for Zoning Issues?
You may want to consider working with a qualified attorney depending on the land-use issue. The attorney should be practiced in municipal and real estate laws. The attorney can help by taking a close look at the public use claim by a municipality to ensure it is valid if you are challenging the city’s eminent domain claim.
Likewise, the law firm would be able to research the zoning laws of prospective locations if you are searching for a new location for your business or company headquarters. In some cases, it is essential to have an experienced real estate attorney on your side if you encounter any zoning, land use, or planning issues. There are different procedures followed by every jurisdiction regarding land use and zoning decisions.
Additionally, public hearings may require a detailed description and argument regarding the issue that embraces the local laws and salient facts of your case. Zoning lawyers will be familiar with the procedure followed by the regulating body in your area. They will be able to review your case, make you understand your position regarding zoning options, and assist you in asking for a variance.
Talk to an Experienced Real Estate Attorney Today
The attorneys at BHM Law Group specialize in land use and zoning law. We work with a variety of clients, including private citizens, businesses, and municipalities. We can review your unique case and recommend the best course of legal action. Schedule a consultation if you need help with a particular legal matter or have any questions. Call us at (205) 994-0902 or contact us online.