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Challenges to zoning regulations

On Behalf of | Oct 16, 2020 | Land Use and Zoning | 0 comments

In Florida, there are restrictions on the government’s power to regulate the use of land. This provides people a basis upon which to challenge said regulations.

It is important for anyone intending to purchase or use land to understand the challenges of zoning regulations. These regulations can impact how an individual uses their parcel of land, including what they are or are not allowed to do with it.

Spot zoning

The first thing to note is that zoning ordinances must count as reasonable based on all involved factors. This includes the purpose of the restriction, the location and size of the property, the neighborhood’s character and more.

One example is spot zoning, which the Free Dictionary defines as the exemption of a parcel of land from the governing rules of its surrounding area. This is subject to challenge unless there is a reasonable basis for differentiating the exempted land from the rest of the parcels. Restrictions based on occupancy of the property or race are not permissible.

Non-government zoning restrictions

There are non-government restrictions as well. Merriam-Webster defines restrictive covenants as a lease or deed that restricts free use or occupancy of a property. For example, the covenant may ban commercial use of the property or disallow certain types of structures.

There are also easements. Today, the public uses them for conservation and the preservation of open spaces. An example of an easement is the preclusion of someone from building on a parcel of land. In exchange, this land can remain free for use as an open green space, serving the public on a whole.