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What do zoning designations mean for your property rights?

by | Feb 1, 2021 | Real Estate Law

When you buy property in California, you may assume that you will get to use this property however you want. You may want to build a house, open a business, rent the space and more, but there are certain things that could hinder your plans or cause you to change your plans. Zoning laws determine how owners can use certain types of property and buildings.

Land use regulations and zoning laws affect how a property owner can develop and use property. The zoning designation can be commercial, industrial, residential or mixed use. If you own property, it is in your interests to be aware of the terms associated with zoning and land use matters, as well as what these terms mean for you and your long-term objectives.

Common terms

Property owners will find it beneficial to familiarize themselves with the terms that could impact what they do with their property. Some of the things that may be helpful for you to know include the following:

  • Easement — An easement is when another party has a non-ownership interest in your property. An example of this can include a neighbor’s right to use your driveway to access an otherwise inaccessible part of their property.
  • Eminent domain — This happens when the government takes ownership of private property for specific reasons, such as utility placement or for public benefit.
  • Adverse possession — This happens when there is a dispute over property, with one party possessing or using property that belongs to someone else. This often involves an open violation of a person’s property rights.

There are different types of easements that could affect your property. Additionally, if the government tries to take possession of a portion of your property, you have the right to protest this in court or seek a fair amount of compensation for what you lost. Property law and zoning issues are complex, especially if you have to go up against the government to protect your interests.

Where should you start?

One thing that may be useful for you is to seek the assistance of an experienced attorney as you fight for your property rights. Whether you need to seek a legal resolution to a dispute, or you have concerns about how you shield yourself against unnecessary complications, you will find it beneficial to start with a complete assessment of your case.