If you live or are from Northeastern Pennsylvania, you know there are plenty of opportunities for economic growth. While you may be tempted to purchase property of your own to develop, it’s best to have a local real estate attorney to help with the negotiations and preparation of the land development and construction agreements.
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, there are general conditions that must be met for land development and construction. Even if you’ve met every requirement, and completed every aspect of the redtape, there still may be problems that arise.
Considered the most common form of land-use regulation, zoning is implemented by municipalities to control and direct the development of property within the municipality’s borders. While each municipality may have its own zoning requirements, there are certain rules that will be commonly found such as the zoning of a municipality into residential, commercial, and industrial districts.
Within those zoned districts, there will be specific requirements such as:
- Types of buildings permitted
- Location of utility lines
- Restrictions on building setbacks from the streets and other boundaries
- Size and height of buildings
- Number of rooms
Other elements included in these regulations may include, yard sizes, parking, how many buildings are permitted on a lot, how many dwellings in one area, single-family or multi-family homes and historic regulations.
While these regulations exist, there still is room for some discrepancies that may occur. Because of this, there are often zoning appeal boards to handle your land development and zoning disputes. Because of the nuances of zoning law, it is recommended that prior to arguing your zoning appeal, you contact a real estate and land development attorney.
Limits on Zoning Regulation
There are often great disputes on how zoning regulations come into play when it comes to taking an individual’s private property for public use. This action, called eminent domain, is legal so long as the private citizen receives just compensation. Such actions of taking over private property by the government may be done to create highways, roads, schools, public buildings, and stop the spread of blight.
While it can sometimes be difficult, there are ways to challenge eminent domain in Pennsylvania. The most common challenge is that the government failed to follow the procedure correctly. If this is the case you wish to pursue, you have limited time to do so as the objections must be filed with the court within 30 days after the property owner is served with the condemnation document which is called a declaration of taking.
While the government has plenty of land restrictions, land developers may also create regulations in their own developments such as restrictive covenants and easements.
A restrictive covenant is a provision in a deed that limits a property of certain uses. These are typically used to create minimum house sizes, setback lines, and aesthetic requirements thought to enhance the neighborhood.
Easements are the right to use a portion of the property for another purpose. This is typically for public objectives like green space which benefits a community as a whole.
Land development regulations can be complicated with a lot of fine print. That’s why you need the experience of a trusted real estate and land development law firm that has your best interest in mind.
How Can Mazzoni Karam Petorak & Valvano Help Me?
If you live in Northeastern Pennsylvania and are in the middle of a land development dispute, now is the time to get a Scranton real estate lawyer on your side. Put your trust in a law firm that puts your needs first. Contact Mazzoni Karam Petorak & Valvano for a free consultation today. Serving clients in Lackawanna, Luzerne, Wayne, Monroe, and surrounding counties.