Recall the serenity prayer – “Give me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” Well, too often in this world, we are forced to accept things we are told we cannot change. Yet, there are times when we do have the power to make a change, and sometimes we worry that we lack the resources or courage to do it.
This inner conflict plays out for many people when a developer or property owner comes into a neighborhood and seeks a change variance, special use permit, or some other change to the zoning rules to accommodate their project. Some zoning change requests are minor, like enlarging a garage to sit closer to the property line.
Some requests are substantial and must be taken seriously. For example, developers may want to build a tall building in your neighborhood that will considerably exceed the existing buildings’ height restrictions. What used to be a sunny part of your living space or garden may become all shade throughout the day. A developer may also want to construct a parking structure that will add a lot of noise and traffic.
Why is it worth it to fight a zoning project? What can you do to advocate for your position and your property? If, after reading this article, you have more questions about how to fight against a zoning project, then I welcome you to contact me. To learn more about what my representation can do for you, contact me today.
You might not see yourself as a “political” person or someone who gets involved in political organizing. Yet, if someone came into your house and started moving the furniture or muddying up your floors, you would certainly do something about it, right? It is your house, after all.
The same is true for your neighborhood. If a neighbor or developer wants to build something that will put your property in its shadow or add significant traffic issues, then you should do something about it as well.
Your city, your town, your municipality has legal requirements in place so that citizens can challenge the reasonableness of a change in zoning. That’s right, you can have a voice in whether a zoning change happens. And when your property values are at stake, it would be wise for you to make your voice heard. Again, when developers come in looking to make massive changes, those changes will likely impact the value of your lifetime investment – your home.
Do you have the courage to get involved in pushing back against a proposed zoning change? You should, as long as you have a little support. That support can largely come from other residents in your neighborhood who are just as worried about injury to their property value as you are. While there are many things to consider when it comes to organizing your neighborhood to shape a development, here are three main things to keep in mind:
Unless you are a lawyer who specializes in administrative law or a lobbyist who has worked on dozens of zoning and licensing issues, the process can be confusing and daunting. You should seriously consider getting the help of an experienced lawyer or lobbyist to fight on your behalf.
Why have a seasoned zoning lawyer in your corner? Because the developer certainly will. Developers spend tens of thousands of dollars on lawyers, lobbyists and public relations firms to push zoning changes needed for their developments. So, to effectively push back, you’ll need professional support.
The information in this blog post is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. You should not make a decision whether or not to contact an attorney based upon the information in this blog post. No attorney-client relationship is formed nor should any such relationship be implied. If you require legal advice, please consult with an attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction.