Land Use & Zoning Questions & Answers by State

Land Use & Zoning Questions & Answers

Q: I bought a property in Reading PA and I just found out that the neighbor next to my property have turned down a wall.

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property, Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Pennsylvania on
Answered on Dec 13, 2018
Cary B. Hall's answer
Well, initially, have you talked to your neighbors about it? I always suggest trying the "neighborly" way before doing anything else.

If you can't resolve things informally with your neighbors, then I'd suggest you get a survey done of your property -- and don't trust any past one. Make sure you have the correct survey before you go off half-cocked. Armed with the survey, you could have an attorney send a formal letter to your neighbor with whatever request you have to make things...

Q: Will my property taxes increase if I add heat to a previously unconditioned outbuilding on my property?

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning, Real Estate Law and Tax Law for Massachusetts on
Answered on Dec 10, 2018
Christopher Tolley's answer
Massachusetts towns assess value annually. They calculate property values based on the market activity as well as certain property-specific attributes such as location, size, construction quality, style, and condition. These include the status of outbuildings. Factors may include the usefulness of the outbuilding with heat as opposed to unheated, whether, as a result of installation of heating, it is usable for residential or commercial purposes, etc. I suggest you call the tax assessor in your...

Q: Is there a way to word an Easement Agreement so that the Dominant Tenant is responsible for County taxes in that area?

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning, Real Estate Law, Tax Law and Contracts for Florida on
Answered on Dec 10, 2018
Terrence H Thorgaard's answer
Yes, it appears that all of this can be done in a properly-worded agreement. But you need an attorney to be sure that it is done properly.

Q: Can a city put a sidewalk in front of my house on a right of way it encroaches on my property and increases crime risk

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning for Florida on
Answered on Dec 7, 2018
Charles M. Baron's answer
I think you answered your own question. You said it's on the right-of-way, which means the right of the public to go on their way on that land. If it's indeed the right-of-way, you most likely can't mount a legal challenge. However, you and your neighbors can try complaining to the city council member/commissioner who represents your area. Sometimes a popular uprising brings results.

Q: Do I have the right to pull his fence on my property?

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning for Illinois on
Answered on Dec 5, 2018
Steve McCann's answer
Assuming the survey clearly shows the fence is on your property, you have every right to remove it off of your property. That said, there are practical considerations to take into account when dealing with a neighbor. Thus, I recommend organizing everything in your possession relevant to this matter, including the survey, and consult with an attorney individually. Many of us offer free consultations, and can act as an intermediary to reach an amicable resolution prior to filing formal court...

Q: Drainage problems and neighbors:

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Land Use & Zoning for Missouri on
Answered on Nov 29, 2018
Ronald J. Eisenberg's answer
Whether you are responsible depends on if a lawsuit is filed and the outcome of the lawsuit. It is tough to opine as to how a court would rule without there being a petition to review and without knowing all of the facts. I suggest that you too consult with an attorney.

Q: We are representing a seller whose property is 0.5 acres & is bounded by Salt River Project and two other properties.

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Arizona on
Answered on Nov 27, 2018
Peter H. Westby's answer
A buyer would need to obtain an access easement from one of the adjoining landowners. In many cases, there is access that has been used over the years and turning this into legal access by obtaining an easement can often be done with the cooperation of an adjoining landowner. If there is no cooperation, legal access can be obtained by opening a private way of necessity per ARS 12-1201, et. seq. by legal action in the Superior Court.

Q: My neighbor's huge tree is now leaning onto my garage.

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning for Florida on
Answered on Nov 23, 2018
Charles M. Baron's answer
Before doing anything, you should confer with your neighbor to attempt to reach agreement on it. Though I suppose he'll not wish to move the intact tree away from your property, you need to confirm that. If he won't cooperate by either moving the tree or having you, him, or both saw it, my next step if I were you would be to contact code enforcement, which might give him an ultimatum or tell you to go ahead and saw it.

Q: The officers of my HOA claim they are the Board of Directors despite never having been elected.

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law, Civil Litigation and Land Use & Zoning for Virginia on
Answered on Nov 16, 2018
Richard Sternberg's answer
Virginia Law has soecific requirements for the creation and recordation of a condominium association or homeowners association. It is highly unlikely that the situation you describe is factually accurate. Get a lawyer to run a title search and read the Declarations, which are required to be published to you before your contract to buy your property was final and binding. If your neighborhood association pre-existed the homeowners association laws, which is common in the Washington metro area...

Q: how would we go about buying a foot of property from the neighbor if our house was built a foot on their property

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning, Real Estate Law and Tax Law for Ohio on
Answered on Nov 15, 2018
Joseph Jaap's answer
To resolve that encroachment, you will need to retain an attorney to assist you, and the neighbor would have to cooperate. You also will need a boundary survey, and there could be issues with zoning setbacks. Building a house over a property boundary is very rare. Many things had to go wrong to allow that to happen. Use the Find a Lawyer tab to retain a local real estate attorney to assist you.

Q: Was served a termination of lease my landlord. She hassaess my wife and I since moving into these apartments. Help!

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Land Use & Zoning, Landlord - Tenant and Real Estate Law for Florida on
Answered on Nov 14, 2018
Griffin Klema's answer
I suggest finding help at your local courthouse or law library that may be able to assist with a landlord-tenant clinic or pro bono. Good luck.

Q: Can a private individual own a state road?

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Land Use & Zoning for Virginia on
Answered on Nov 13, 2018
Richard Sternberg's answer
It is possible for a private individual to own the land on which a right of way is given to another. Many jurisdictions prohibit creating and selling parcels that are “landlocked,” but it sounds like yours isn’t. Often, though, the neighbor’s claimed rights don’t match the recorded rights. The next step is to get a title search and a survey, and then have a lawyer read them.

Q: Can I live on land that I am still paying on or do I have to wait until it is fully paid off

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Texas on
Answered on Nov 5, 2018
Tammy Lyn Wincott's answer
I'm not sure I fully understand this question. A lot would depend upon the arrangements that were made to purchase the land. Similar to a home loan where you live in the house while paying the mortgage, many land sales allow you to live on the property. I suggest you refer to your original documents.

Q: Business next to mine is using my parking area and making it where I can't get in or out. What do I do to stop it

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Real Estate Law, Land Use & Zoning and Small Claims for Florida on
Answered on Nov 5, 2018
Jonathan A. Klurfeld's answer
But he also cannot control where the public parks. If the public chooses to park in your lot to get to his business, that is on them and not the business owner. That would be like parking at Publix is full so you park next door at the drug store; the drug store can't hold Publix legally responsible where you (the public) parked when there were no open spots though. You can post your tow sign up and then tow the cars at your expense as you state.

Q: How easy is it to obtain a right of way/necessity easement in Duval County/City of Jacksonville?

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Land Use & Zoning for Florida on
Answered on Nov 4, 2018
Richard Paul Zaretsky's answer
Easements are tricky and you must use an attorney or you will definitely have problems.

There are some easements of necessity and a history of the surrounding parcels needs to be examined to determine where an easement may be required by law. See an attorney to get this accomplished.

Q: Is there any way to appeal to local zoning laws to allow me to rent out my condo on AirBnb?

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning for Florida on
Answered on Nov 4, 2018
Charles M. Baron's answer
You question is a bit vague. You seem to be asking, "If my current local zoning law prohibits vacation rentals in my building, is there something I can do to change that and/or to challenge it in court?" If that's the question, the answer is yes to CHANGING it, but only by persuading your local legislative body (county or city commission/council) to amend its code to allow it. Start by contacting the representative of your area on that commission/council. They may not want to budge on it,...

Q: Easement granted but not recorded prior to sale, can it still be recorded?

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Ohio on
Answered on Nov 1, 2018
Joseph Jaap's answer
It can be recorded, but the new owner could claim no knowledge of it, and since the new owner's deed is already recorded, the new owner could challenge the easement and refuse to allow it. You could ask the new owner to sign a new easement, but new owner doesn't have to sign it. Use the Find a Lawyer tab to retain a local real estate attorney to review the easement, all the facts, and advise you.

Q: Can a city make u get rid of a car that has valid plates. It runs just needs a part.. They say its a eyesore

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning for Ohio on
Answered on Oct 29, 2018
Joseph Jaap's answer
If the city has an ordinance against inoperable cars parked outside being classified as junk, then the city might be able to issue a citation or have it towed. Check with the police or the city.

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