When you purchase real estate, you may believe that you have the right to use the land and/or building for whatever you like. However, lawmakers in New Jersey would disagree and there are a number of laws on the books in NJ that specifically limit the way you can use or develop your land.
Zoning laws dictate how property in certain areas can be used. Specifically, these laws dictate which areas are commercial, residential, or industrial. You would not want a company to purchase land in your residential neighborhood and build a manufacturing plant right by your home. Similarly, it would be odd for a family to create a residence in a space in a commercial district. For this reason, zoning laws aim to separate out these various land uses into specific zones.
Similar to zoning laws, development ordinances regulate how developers can construct new subdivisions, complexes, or commercial developments. Regulations can involve street plans, limitations on the size of homes or buildings, the type of additional structures that can be included on a property, or parking regulations.
Challenging These Laws
The government can only restrict how you use your property if the restrictions are reasonable, not arbitrary, and serve a purpose for the public good. If zoning laws are seemingly random, discriminatory, do not serve a valid purpose, or too restrictive, you can fight against these restrictions to use your land as you want. You can also ask for an exception to a zoning or development law, which will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by a zoning board in your municipality. Examples of possible exceptions are if you want to bake goods for commercial sale out of your kitchen (provided you have the licenses to do so) or if you want to operate a hair salon in your home. You should always have a skilled real estate attorney helping you with any zoning or development challenges.
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Land use laws regarding zoning and development in New Jersey can be very confusing and can have serious implications for your business or family. If you need any type of assistance deciphering the laws in your municipality or challenging a zoning or development law, please do not hesitate to contact the experienced New Jersey land use and zoning attorneys at Borrus, Goldin, Foley, Vignuolo, Hyman & Stahl, P.C. We can assist with a wide range of real estate law matters, so please call today to discuss your situation.