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Property owners must heed land use and zoning regulations

It’s unclear whether the incoming administration will impact environmental enforcement and regulation efforts. When measured against time, however, it seems safe to say that opinions about environmental practices change, and laws are amended to follow suit.

For example, opinions about tidal water conservation may be in transition. Two Virginia Beach lawmakers recently introduced bills in the General Assembly session to grant more control over these areas to property owners. The proposed legislation would grant a riparian lease of state waters to residential landowners with 105 linear feet of shore front, reducing it from the current threshold of 205 feet. The proposal would grant property owners more privacy from commercial oyster growers that also seek leases.

In any neighborhood, it is important to understand the applicable land use and zoning restrictions. Commercial tenants may be more accustomed to this research, but any property owner may run into obstacles if he or she undertakes an activity or building project in the blind.

Our Virginia law firm has helped many commercial and residential property owners to seek land use and zoning applications. When applications have been denied, we have also advocated on our clients’ behalf in administrative zoning board hearings.

Authorities may intend zoning requirements to best serve the public, which is why hearings are sometimes necessary to weigh opposing viewpoints. Fortunately, that process also gives some flexibility to land use, perhaps in the form of a variance. Or attorneys take a big-picture approach to land use and zoning, helping our clients to adopt a strategy that will best serve their needs.

Source: The Virginian-Pilot, “Bills would enable more Virginia landowners to lease water off their properties,” Dave Mayfield, Jan. 13, 2017

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