Zoning is an important legal system of classifying land into specific and permissible uses. In communities throughout New Jersey, individuals may live in residential zones, work in commercial zones, and drive past agricultural or manufacturing zones. In some cases, multiple types of land uses may be contained in single zones, while in others only single zoning classifications may exist.
It is important for individuals to know the zoning regulations that cover certain parcels of land, especially those they own or hope to acquire. This is because they may have intended uses for their land that do not match the permissible uses identified in the zoning plans.
If a person discovers that they cannot do what they want on their land because it conflicts with the permissible and applicable zoning for the area, they may choose to apply for a variance. A variance grants a person permission to use their land in a way that does not conform to the zoning rules. A variance does not change the zoning for a parcel, but rather allows it to operate as an exception within the existing zoning scheme for the area.
Not every request for variance will be approved, and different communities may require different information and data from residents when they apply for such accommodations. In order to know what is necessary for variance applications, individuals can solicit the help of land use attorneys. These professionals can guide them through the process of applying for variances so that they can use their land in their intended ways.