Georgia zoning ordinances and decisions are meant to support the public’s welfare. If you’re a property owner who wants to add on to your home or erect an outbuilding or other structure, completion of your project must be in accordance with all relevant zoning regulations.
Perhaps you own a commercial property or are thinking of purchasing land for such use. It’s always best to make sure you understand zoning laws to avoid legal problems down the line.
How you intend to use land may influence zoning decisions
Land use and zoning are two issues that often intersect. If you are buying land or are a landowner, you might wish to use your land in several ways, including as a commercial property, an industrial property or a residential property. If you apply for a building permit, zoning officials might deny your request if your plans do not comply with zoning laws in the area.
For instance, if you purchase land in an area that is zoned as residential, you cannot expect to be able to build a business warehouse there. Similarly, you wouldn’t build a single-family home in the middle of an area that has been zoned for commercial enterprises. In certain circumstances, both types of properties may co-exist, such as land containing a stretch of buildings with businesses on the ground level and private apartments above.
Additional topics of importance regarding zoning and land use
It’s not only what you can build that matters regarding zoning laws or how you are or are not able to use land. The following list shows additional issues that may be relevant in a particular case:
- Natural hazards
- Design regulations
- Management of natural resources
- Environmental safety
Whether you are a developer, a private landowner or a member of a civic organization, if you plan on building something or changing the way a specific piece of land is used, you must make sure you’re in compliance with all building codes and zoning regulations.
Issues regarding preservation of natural beauty
A lot of development in Georgia takes place along the coast. A vast amount of farmland and wooded areas throughout the state have been converted for use as shopping malls, subdivisions and other types of land use.
If you’re considering purchasing land to build a commercial property or are facing a dispute regarding an existing property as it relates to land use or zoning issues, it can be difficult to resolve the problem on your own. In addition to making sure you’re aware of any code or regulation that is relevant to your situation, it’s also a good idea to know where to seek support if you’re having trouble resolving a specific legal issue.