Real Estate Law: Zoning, Planning, and Environmental Issues
When most people think of real estate law, they imagine the typical inconveniences that sometimes arise when selling or purchasing a property: negotiating contracts, finding a lender, and ensuring that the property has been vetted and inspected.
Zoning laws are slightly more complex, and oftentimes homeowners do not realize that they are violating local zoning ordinances until they’ve already done the offending deed in the first place. Confusion surrounding property lines is the number one reason for disputes between neighbors, and they can be avoided by taking preventative measures before closing day.
Review Your Local Zoning Map
Zoning maps and regulatory documents can appear confusing at first glance, especially if you are reviewing them without the help of a qualified real estate attorney. Grand Rapids homeowners are often completely in the dark about where their home or property falls into as it relates to their local zoning map.
Yet it is valuable information to be aware of, in case you decide to expand your home, construct another building near a property line, or build on protected land, such as a wetland or woodland conservation area. Michigan State University provides a helpful resource in the form of a zoning map for a fictitious town called Spartyville, which is color-coded according to each zoning district.
How Local Zoning Ordinances Impact Homeowners
Depending on your local community, homeowners might be regarded with wariness or suspicion. If your property is in an urban residential area, you are less likely to face legal disputes from your local government. (Although you might end up arguing with your neighbor over something as seemingly harmless as the measurement of your fence.)
On the other hand, if your property is surrounded by woodland or wetland, it is likely a protected environmental area and you could face legal consequences if you accidentally extend your construction onto this land. Your realtor and lender might provide you with the proverbial and literal keys to your new home, but a consultation with a real estate attorney will arm you with the most important thing of all: knowledge.
Striegle Law is a highly reputable and respected family law and real estate law attorney in the Grand Rapids area, serving families and individuals just like yourself and settling local zoning disputes. Be informed before you begin construction of buildings or begin making other modifications to your property so you will be able to avoid unnecessary conflicts with your local government.