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land use & zoning Archives

Eminent domain options

For landowners in America, acquiring your own slice of the American dream in the form of real estate is sadly not the end of the story. Under some circumstances, land you own may be forcefully taken away from you through "eminent domain" — but the process is not automatic, and you do have options if you know where to look. Like most legal processes, the sooner you seek qualified legal counsel and take action, the more room you may have to negotiate.

Appeals court says state law supersedes federal drug law

The Arizona State Court of Appeals handed down a ruling recently, instructing Phoenix officials that they could not refuse to grant marijuana dispensaries the necessary zoning to begin construction. While some attention was pointed to the fact that the dispensary in question for this particular case would be located in an unincorporated part of Sun City, the majority of the decision established that officials are not allowed to override state law that legalizes the medical use of marijuana with federal law that maintains that marijuana is illegal to distribute, possess or imbibe.

Why is building so complex on the Reservation?

Arizona is a unique and special place in many ways, representing one of the most complex intersections of long-standing regional cultures in the entire country. One of the most fascinating and complicated facets of the state is the vast areas within our state lines that are designated as the Navajo Reservation. When it comes to land usage and building in particular, the Reservation presents some very specific challenges.

Border wall faces land use problems

When it comes to land use laws, Arizona may soon be the site of a very complicated conflict. Roughly 75 miles of Arizona's southern border extends through the middle of the Tohono O'odham Nation, a reservation that dips down into Mexico. The already features relatively low-grade fencing to delineate the border, but many members of the O'odham people venture down to Sonora, Mexico to meet with family and tribe members. Of course, one of the most publicized stories of the last couple of years in Donald Trump's plan to build a wall across the whole southern border of the country as it meet with Mexico. This could, however, prove a difficult legal task without approval from the Tohono O'odham Nation.

How do I apply for a variance from a zoning ordinance?

When it comes to land use and zoning issues, each county in every state usually maintains its own set of procedures and standards for how zoning codes are applied and enforced. Here in Maricopa county, the local governance recognizes that, in some cases, some zoning ordinances may in fact do more harm than good when interpreted strictly. As with many regulations, in an effort to account for many instances of use, regulations are often both specifically restrictive while being written broadly enough to be applied to circumstances beyond what the architects of the regulation envisioned in its writing.

What's an agricultural exemption?

Each county in a state generally maintains its own proprietary zoning laws, dictating various guidelines, restrictions and exceptions for the use of property within that county, and Maricopa is no different. Like many counties, Maricopa has a rigorous set of codes and standards that must be met by most kinds of land use or structures erected on a given parcel of land, but also extends exemptions from these regulations in some cases. This exemption is commonly known in our region as the agricultural exemption.

What is the RLUIPA?

Zoning conflicts can come in many shapes and sizes, from whether or not a developer is allowed to build certain kind of home in a specific location to what kinds of businesses are allowed to operate in a given space, and many more. One area that has produced many conflicts over the last decade or so is the implementation of the The Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act.

Does a zoning variance change the law?

Most land is divided up into zones by the city. For example, certain pieces of land may be zoned as residential, meaning they can only be used for homes and living spaces, while other areas are zoned as commercial, meaning they can be used for businesses. Still other areas are zoned for multi-use buildings; for example, you could have an apartment building with bars and shops on the ground floor.

Answers to common questons about zoning in Maricopa County

It can be quite confusing to deal with Maricopa County zoning laws simply because the laws and regulations can apply to many different types of property. Here are some common questions about zoning regulations and requirements in the county.

Understanding Maricopa County, Arizona, land use and zoning

Whether you are in the planning stages of a project in Maricopa County, Arizona, or you have hit a roadblock in a project, having experienced legal representation can help. At Faith, Ledyard & Faith, PLC, we understand the land use and zoning requirements of the area and for over 30 years, we have represented government entities, developers and homeowners in real estate matters.

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