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A variance from zoning regulations could save a project

On Behalf of | Jun 8, 2022 | Real Estate Law |

When planning for a building project in Southern California, developers and investors put time into choosing the perfect location for their project. Many factors go into the decision, such as the size of the property, how close it is to retail and businesses, its distance to highways and major roads and many other factors. Developers also need to pay attention to one other major factor: land use and zoning regulations in the area.

Zoning regulations govern many different aspects of the proposed project and the project needs to conform to the regulations in order to receive the building permits they need. As zoning regulations govern many different aspects of the project, while most of the project may conform, there may be one part or element that does not. Developers may need to make major decisions at this point to determine whether they can simply cut the non-conforming part of the project or to seek another location.

Appeals of initial denials of variance requests

Before developers make decisions to completely stop parts of the project or the whole project, they may be able to seek variances to the zoning regulations. To obtain these they must request them from the local authority in charge of zoning decisions. Depending on the local ordinances and proposals, the local authority may grant the variance for certain parts of the project. However, there are many times when the request for a variance will be denied initially.

An initial denial of a variance request is not the end of the decision-making process though. Developers may be able to appeal the initial decision to an appeals board. There is a process they must follow to appeal the decision, but appealing an initial decision could be beneficial, especially given the size and scope of many development projects.

Choosing a location for a certain project that is substantially non-conforming to the local zoning ordinances will probably be denied. However, if only certain variances are needed to complete the full project, those could be granted even if it requires an appeal of the initial decision. These appeals are very important for the success of projects and consulting with experienced attorneys could be beneficial.



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