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Zoning Law Questions

Zoning laws are laws that stipulate the development of land. These laws determine what structures can be built on a section of land, how the land can be distributed or sold, and whether or not businesses may be operated on a section of land.

Local zoning laws can regulate the size of a home, the materials that can be used to construct that home and even the height of the privacy fence for that home. While zoning laws vary from area to area, it is important to be aware of the laws. Take a look at the zoning law questions below that have been answered by Experts.

Do I need approval from a zoning committee to remodel my basement to generate extra income?

You will need to focus on your HOA bylaws before concerning yourself with zoning laws. While it is important to know the zoning laws, it's very possible that your home owners association has certain rules and regulations that would affect your plans of having a money generating business within your residence. However, every HOA has different guidelines pertaining to residential rules. If you find that your HOA doesn't permit residential business, you could file a petition with the board. There is generally a vote taken with the board members to refuse or permit such activity. Nothing further can be accomplished until the board takes a vote. Once you have clearance from the board, you can then contact the zoning board and ask to rezone your area from residential premises to mixed residential premises.

What are my legal rights if I want to rent out a bedroom in my home?

Generally, when a person rents a room in their home, it is considered operating a business from the home. This may put you in violation of zoning laws in your area. Most residential areas are zoned for single family dwellings. There isn't much that could legally protect you if you are breaking zoning ordinances. Zoning officials could place fines against you for conducting such business in your home. In some situations, the zoning officials could even have the power to place a lien against your home. To avoid any potential issues with your zoning officials, it is probably best to comply with the zoning laws and work with the zoning officials to avoid this type of violations.

I want to open a business on land next to my house, can I do this?

In order to find out if this type of activity is allowed, you would have to check with your zoning authorities on zoning ordinances. The zoning authorities will have a map listing what areas are permitted to conduct business within residential areas and the areas that are zoned for business only. There is really no way to determine if you can operate a business on the land next to your home without checking with the zoning board.

Could I get in trouble for making things in my garage and getting paid for it?

You might face legal issues if your area isn't zoned for this type of activity. However, you can find out by reading your local zoning rules for exceptions for low volume work. It is possible that while you continue to sell products from your home that no one would ever become aware of it. However, if done on a low volume, more than likely, you would be asked to stop selling the product from your home or relocate your work to an appropriate zoned area.

How can I find out if my town zoning laws permit certain pets? I want to buy a pig but am not sure if this is allowed.

Usually, the city clerk can offer information on city ordinances. You can ask if there are any ordinances pertaining to owning "exotic" pets. You will need to read the ordinance to see what types of animals are considered exotic or domesticated. While most communities have such ordinances, every community may have different regulations and/or restrictions as well as what they consider exotic or domestic pets.

Knowing and understanding your areas zoning laws are important, especially if you plan on building, adding onto, working from or changing your residential appearance. Not complying with the zoning laws may create unwanted legal issues. If you are unsure about zoning laws or are unfamiliar with how zoning laws work, you should ask an Expert for legal assistance.
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