Any New Jersey resident who has attempted to find a place to build their dream home has undoubtedly encountered restrictions on what types of structures that they can build on certain parcels of land. This is because communities throughout the state have enacted zoning regulations that dictate where certain homes, businesses and other entities may be built and operated. Zoning attempts to keep similar structures together but can impose frustrating limitations on individuals who want to explore other uses for their properties.
For example, different areas of a community may be zoned for residential properties, commercial or manufacturing properties and agricultural properties. The separation of different types of entities allows for homeowners to live free of the noises and smells that may be produced at farms and factories, and gives businesses fair opportunities to operate when they may be most profitable without disrupting residential residents.
However, not all zoning regulations serve the needs and interests of the property owners whose parcels lie within them. The character of a particular zone may change over time but a property owner may still be prohibited from operating a non-conforming business or entity within it if the actual regulations regarding zoning are not challenged or changed.
Zoning has a purpose in New Jersey communities but it is still a restrictive practice. Before buying land a person should be aware of the zoning restrictions that will attach to it and the limitations that they may have to work with when it comes to planning the property’s use. Real estate attorneys can provide important support to individuals who have zoning concerns and questions.