Zoning and Land Use Attorneys
Land use law encompasses the full range of laws and regulations that impact the development and conservation of land and improvements located on land. Land use law involves federal and state statutes and also numerous municipal and local ordinances or regulations.
On a local level, municipalities and local governments create blueprints for the future development of their area by dividing their jurisdictions into zoning districts and prescribing the specifications for land use and development concerning each district. But, in Virginia, the power of local governments to adopt zoning laws and ordinances must have been specifically delegated by Virginia’s legislature, the General Assembly. This procedure encourages and enables citizens to become involved on a local level in the development of comprehensive land use and development plans through participation in public hearings. At the same time, this system provides the Commonwealth of Virginia with oversight authority to determine the permissive scope of zoning laws and land use regulations across the entire state. Federal statutes, rules, and regulations may impose additional restrictions on property rights for a variety of reasons.
While the extensiveness of involved parties is an attractive and important aspect of the local land use and zoning process, it also can result in complex and multifaceted issues when a dispute or disparity arises. There are a myriad of competing interests including state and federal agencies, neighborhood groups, conservation and preservation historic organizations, and tenant associations.
The multitude of rules, regulations, and zoning ordinances can potentially cause land owners great stress and hassle, especially for those individuals hoping to use their land for commercial purposes. It may be the case that governing rules and regulations do not allow the proposed use of the property, or, it may be the case that certain uses are permitted only when a variety of conditions are first satisfied. Working through those regulations can be like threading a proverbial needle, and it is vital for those seeking to maximize the use of property to retain experienced and savvy counsel for these complicated matters.
If your land or property currently violates an applicable zoning regulation, there are several courses to be considered. First, if your use of land existed before the zoning restriction was adopted, it may be classified as a nonconforming use and be permitted to continue, as long as the use is not expanded or enlarged. Second, your nonconforming use may be eligible for the granting of a variance. If the zoning board issues a use variance, any nonconforming use will be deemed legal and you can be given the right to enlarge or expand it.
The Virginia Land Use Lawyers of MartinWren Law, P.C. have represented a broad range of property owners, developers, and businesses in many jurisdictions across Virginia. We have experience working with local regulatory agencies and boards, and we have successfully petitioned local boards on behalf of our clients. In addition to working with regulatory boards and agencies, however, we are fully prepared and ready to initiate litigation and represent or defend your matter in court when the need arises.
The Virginia Land Use Attorneys at MartinWren, P.C. can help you wade through the muddy waters of land use, development, and zoning issues. We thoroughly understand the relevant laws and regulations and are able to creatively work with real estate developers, investors, land owners, and other parties to reach a favorable resolution in a zoning dispute matter.
If you need help in any aspect of the land development process – subdivision, rezoning, site plan, permit request or denial, variance application, or potential nonconforming use, contact the Charlottesville Land Use Attorneys at MartinWren Law, P.C. at 434-817-3100 and ask for John B. Simpson. We value your time and recognize the hassle that unnecessary and lengthy steps can cause to your land project, business, or personal life.