Truth, simplicity and candor: these are the cardinal virtues of a lawyer." - George Sharswood

Home Buying and Residential Zoning Laws

Owning a home can be a rewarding experience. Many homeowners get satisfaction from knowing that their property is all theirs. It can also be rewarding to watch their interest in the property grow as they gain equity in the property through mortgage payments, rather than handing their money to a landlord each month. However, homeownership can also be stressful. Costly repairs, property taxes, and maintenance on the residence and yard demand the homeowner’s time and money.

While some of those things cannot be foreseen when buying a home, there are lots of ways to protect yourself when purchasing real estate. Home buyers often have home inspections done, as well as examination of the title. Another issue to be aware of that may impact your use or plans for your new home is zoning.

What is Zoning?

Zoning is comprised of a set of rules that establish guidelines for how things should look and where they should exist. Zoning can affect businesses, such as when a local board enacts zoning laws to prevent certain businesses from opening there, or zoning laws can be residential – meaning they only affect private residences. Zoning laws may limit the number of floors a building or home can have; where certain businesses can be physically located; how close to the property line a building can be built; and so on.

Zoning laws are usually established by local governments, such as towns and cities. This means that they are not uniform throughout the entire state – instead, they tend to vary quite a bit depending on which local area the laws cover.

How Zoning Can Affect You

If you have a home, zoning can affect you in a number of ways. First, it is possible that your property is already violating zoning laws. In that case you may be ordered to bring your property into compliance with the law. Zoning may also become a consideration if you are looking to renovate your home. It is possible that your home previously complied with zoning laws, but that making physical changes to the home may result in violations. For example, expanding the home to add an extra room on the first floor could result in the home’s walls being too close to a property line. Other improvements to your property, such as adding a swimming pool or deck, may have have zoning implications as well.

If you are looking to buy a home, it’s important to be aware of zoning limitations as well. If you find a dream home and make plans to make renovations or add a swimming pool, it’s important to be sure that there are no zoning laws that would impact your plans.

If you or a loved one has zoning questions, it is important to talk to a skilled attorney. Whether you’ve been found to be in violation of a zoning ordinance, or you’re considering making changes to your home or property, it is important to know what the law says and to understand all of your options. Contact the experienced Florida attorneys at Carnal & Mansfield, P.A. for a consultation today.

6528 Central Avenue, Suite B
Saint Petersburg, Fl 33707

tel: 727-381-8181
fax: 727-381-8783

Carnal & Mansfield, P.A. is located in Saint Petersburg, FL and serves clients in and around Saint Petersburg, Seminole, Tarpon Springs, Indian Rocks Beach, Largo, Belleair Beach, Clearwater Beach, Terra Ceia, Clearwater, Anna Maria, Sun City Center, Ruskin, Holmes Beach, Safety Harbor, Tampa, Bradenton Beach, Sydney, Cortez, Ellenton, Oldsmar, Ozona, Crystal Beach, Brandon, Hillsborough County and Pinellas County.

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