How should I deal with zoning issues as a real estate investor?

On Behalf of | Dec 11, 2020 | Commercial Real Estate & Environmental Compliance |

Virtually every jurisdiction in the U.S. has zoning regulations to help divide the property into commercial, rural, residential, and commercial zones. While each of these areas isn’t supposed to overlap, they often do. Use modifications may also result in the rezoning of a district. All of this can impact real estate investors as they develop a planned community and even members of a homeowners’ association down the road.

What’s the purpose of zoning laws?

Zoning laws are regulations that restrict how an investor develops a property or how a homeowner can use it. Developers may find themselves limited to what types of properties a builder can erect on a property, whether it’s a townhome, single-family home or a multi-family unit. These regulations also determine where utility companies install their lines. These laws may also impact what types of buildings someone can erect on a piece of land that they own and how many rooms it can have, how far it must sit off the street, and its width and height. 

What are restrictive covenants?

Government entities may also allow for the placement of easements or restrictive covenants, limiting how someone utilizes their property. An example of this is the homeowners’ association bylaws. These regulations may limit what color a house you can paint your house, how large it can be and how you maintain your lot. 

What you should know about easements

There are instances in which an entity may access what you think is your private property for public purposes. Such a scenario is called an easement. An example of this may be if someone needs to travel along your access road to their adjoining property. You may find yourself unable to do anything if it would limit the rights of the person who maintains the easement on your property.

Are zoning laws flexible?

If there’s one thing that you should know about land use or zoning regulations, it’s that you can challenge them. While it’s not always easy to do so, it is possible. A business law attorney can help you as a real estate investor protect your rights and provide guidance in any disputes a Pennsylvania homeowners’ association may bring against you for zoning-related matters here in Murrysville.