land use Archives

Zoning and its impact on land use in New Jersey

Readers of this New Jersey legal blog may have noticed that like properties are often situated near each other. For example, single family homes may all be grouped together in neighborhoods, while factories and manufacturing facilities may all be located on the outskirts of communities. Businesses, restaurants, and centers of commerce may all be located in central locations that are accessible by individuals from different parts of town.

Attractive nuisances on New Jersey properties

Individuals who buy land and develop it for residential or commercial purposes have a fair amount of discretion regarding what they choose to put on their properties. While they generally must comply with zoning regulations and other restrictive rules that may govern land use in their areas, they can often decide where, how and when to build on the land that they own.

What options are there for resolving a boundary dispute?

Different parcels of land touch at their boundary lines. When a New Jersey resident reviews the title to a parcel they may find the legal description of how the parcel is situated and how far it extends. It is often possible for individuals to go back to their land use and ownership documents to find out exactly where their properties start and their neighbors' properties end.

What is the legal definition of a nuisance?

An older sibling may call their younger sibling a nuisance when the latter messes with the former's possessions or otherwise terrorizes them with their pestering and chides. In effect, the sibling accused of being a nuisance has disrupted the enjoyment of the other's day and has caused them to suffer emotional distress. This simple example closely follows what it means for a nuisance to exist in the realm of land use law and will be further developed throughout this post.

A variance may help a land owner use their property effectively

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.

What is eminent domain?

Some people work for years to save enough money to buy tracts of land for their own personal use. While some may buy land for agricultural or business purposes, many New Jersey residents buy plots of land with the intention of building homes on them. Owning land gives individuals the freedom to work toward their goals and fulfill their dreams without the constraints of renting property from others.

What is adverse possession?

Real property ownership is a goal for many New Jersey residents who wish to build their own homes and have space that they can call their own. A person can work hard to save, search and acquire the plot of their dreams, and once they have paid it off they may believe that it will be their forever. However, certain land use and real property legal matters can divest property owners of their rights if they are not aware of them.

What is an easement?

It is a common belief among New Jersey residents that if someone has an interest in a parcel of property that they must own it. While this is often true it does not necessarily have to be the case. When a person has an easement they hold a nonpossessory interest in someone else's land that does not constitute ownership.

Understand your local zoning laws before you buy property

Finding the perfect home or space to buy in which to operate a business can be a time consuming and stressful process. New Jersey residents who are in the market for property may spend months researching what they want and need so that, when the right property becomes available, they are ready to make their move. During their planning, one important aspect of purchasing property that individuals should investigate is zoning.

Zoning may limit the prospective uses of a parcel of land

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.

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