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What’s the purpose of zoning restrictions?

| Apr 17, 2020 | Real Estate |

Living in an urban or downtown area isn’t always easy. One of the biggest issues that non-rural residents face is zoning regulations. One of the primary purposes of these types of rules is to divide areas into industrial, commercial and residential zones. Generally, each zone or district is supposed to be used exclusively for that purpose with no overlap.

Some restrictions and regulations are put in place with zoning laws. They regulate the type of buildings an area can have, where the utility lines are supposed to be, how far away buildings and structures can be from the street, the size, height and width of buildings, as well as how many rooms they can have. Zoning laws may also restrict whether homes can be single- or multi-family dwellings or if they have to be townhouses.

Land use regulations are not only in place to control current dwellings but to limit the number of future developments as well. Zoning regulations can be challenged if they’re not reasonable. For example, it’s unconstitutional for a governmental entity to seize a person’s property for public use without the owner being properly compensated for it.

There are sometimes restrictions on land use that aren’t created by the government, but instead by restrictive covenants and easements. Restrictive covenants are provisions in a deed that limit how a property can be used, like in a homeowner’s association. They may require a house to be a certain size, only painted select colors or require a defined amount of lot maintenance.

Easements are when private property is subject to public purposes. For example, a person may own property but be required to allow an access road to adjoining properties. A person may own a piece of land, but be prohibited from building on it to preserve open green space for the public.

Tennessee zoning law regulations can be very complicated and difficult to understand. Sometimes, the laws might even seem arbitrary. An experienced real estate attorney here in Jackson can evaluate your dispute and let you know what they believe may be the best route for you to pursue based upon the unique circumstances of your case.