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The value of a power of attorney

For people unfamiliar with real estate law, one might think that they have the right to do what they like with the property that they own. But as we learn with many other aspects of life, sometimes there are restrictions on personal use and behavior in place to protect the greater good.

Urban planners, zoning boards and zoning laws are in place to keep order to a municipality. This often means following specific local zoning regulations which may be contrary to your wishes or beliefs. It is not uncommon for zoning regulations to have public notices and public hearings so that all affected parties have an opportunity to speak their minds. While limitations on what you can do on your property may not make you happy, it is important to note that many people fall on the other side, and the zoning regulations in place are helpful in maintaining and protecting one's property from commercial or industrial interests, or unfavorable urban development.

If you believe that a zoning challenge would not be successful, you may try to have an amendment, variance or permit made to grant your wish. Typically, you would need to prove that the character of an area has changed and that previous zoning laws are now obsolete or irrelevant. A variance may be given if you can prove that, without the variance, you will experience unnecessary hardship or practical difficulties.

Considering the complexities often associated with real estate zoning laws and land development, you may find it helpful and more likely to be successful if you reach out to a firm familiar with real estate for information, guidance and representation before proceeding.

Source: FindLaw, "Land Use and Zoning Practices," Accessed June 26, 2017

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