How might zoning regulations affect you?

It doesn’t matter whether you already own or are looking to buy property in an urban, suburban or rural area: Each of these may have zoning regulations in place to restrict whether you can use it for residential, commercial or industrial purposes. There’s generally no overlap among these three.

Zoning regulations are more than a type of classification, however. The impact of a zoning restriction can be significant.

What’s the purpose of zoning regulations?

Zoning regulations limit what a property owner can do with their land. They may prohibit them from erecting certain structures or ones exceeding a specific square footage, height or width, or ones that have a particular number of rooms on their land. Zoning regulations may only allow landowners to place buildings on their property if they construct a certain distance from other structures or the road.

Do zoning regulations apply to everyone?

Many property owners get the impression that zoning regulations are flexible in terms of applicability, but this often isn’t the case. Land use regulations generally don’t just apply to current developments, but future ones as well. Most jurisdictions allow for you to challenge what you may deem to be an unreasonable zoning regulation, though. An instance in which someone seizes your property without providing you with just compensation may warrant you challenging a zoning regulation. 

While the government generally drafts zoning regulations, there are instances in which a restrictive covenant or easement determines land-use instead. Homeowners’ association bylaws are an example of a restrictive covenant. There may also be provisions included in a deed. Either of these documents may detail how homeowners can only paint their homes a certain size and how they should maintain their grounds.

Easements may allow someone to use your private property for public purposes. A landowner may find oneself needing to allow an adjoining property owner access to their private road to reach their home. Easements may also restrict a landowner from erecting a structure on their land to preserve it as green space for the public.

Are zoning issues complicated?

Zoning law regulations are seldom straightforward. A real estate law attorney can help make sense of these requirements. Your Gulfport lawyer will want to know more about the zoning law concerns you face before advising you whether Mississippi law may allow you to challenge them in your case.