Three facts property owners should know about variances

| Apr 1, 2021 | Real Estate Law |

Zoning is a significant factor that can alter how a Florida landowner uses their property. Generally, zoning dictates where residential structures may be built, and where manufacturing or industrial centers can be located. Zones also exist for businesses, restaurants, and centers of commerce.

Zoning serves the purpose of keeping properties of similar use close to each other to reduce noise, limit road congestion, and support community planning. However, from time to time property owners may discover that they cannot use their properties for the purposes they are zoned for. When this happens, the property owners may seek variances to remedy their land use limitations.

This post will discuss variances and 3 facts property owners should know about them. The information contained herein may be used a starting point for readers to learn more about variances, but no part of this post should be used as legal advice. When questions of land use and zoning arise, it is best for individuals to seek the help of knowledgeable real estate law attorneys.

Fact #1: Variances are not guaranteed to property owners

Put generally, a variance is a needed to use a property for something other than what it is zoned for. Though variances may be needed to use land for their best purposes, landowners should not assume that they will be granted variances automatically. The variance process requires an application and approval from a governing board. Before an individual buys a parcel of land, they should understand its specified zoning and the challenges they may face to secure a variance.

Fact #2: Requests for variances may be subject to public hearings

How a person uses their land is often up to them, as long as they follow the zoning and land use rules of their municipality. When they intend to go against those rules, their desire to do so often scrutinized by both a governing board and their community. In Boca Raton, an individual who submits an application and supporting data for a variance may expect that their request will be made public for review and comment by the community. A public hearing may be held for the review and approval of the variance, and the requesting party may expect to face questions and concerns about their plans from those who believe that their property interests may be impacted by the granting of a variance.

Fact #3: Arguing a claim for a variance may take legal help

A variance may be needed for a property owner to effectively use their land. However, an individual in this difficult situation may be ill equipped to deal with their own legal challenges and may benefit from the support and advocacy of a knowledgeable land use and real property lawyer. When electing to pursue a variance, a Boca Raton resident can leave the research and planning of their variance arguments to a legal professional who both understands and works within the rules of the municipality.