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Building on Vacant Land: Zoning Regulations and Land Use

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in Zoning and Land Use

Oak Brook zoning and land use lawyersWhen you look at the vacant lot of land you have purchased, you probably see possibilities and promise for the future. What you might not are the zoning and land use ordinances that you will face along the way. Know how zoning regulation issues may hinder the development of your project and how you can best avoid them.

How Does Zoning Affect Your Project?

Governed by local laws, zoning ordinances restrict an area's land of use to a predetermined use. In theory, these restrictions are made to organize land and improve its efficiency and livability. For example, it would prohibit the construction of a power plant within a residential zone, where residents may become annoyed or even sick because of the noise and pollution.

Zoning Designations in Illinois

Each city and/or county determines their own zoning designations. However, most zoning designations will fall under one or more of the following categories:

  • Commercial (retail stores, theaters, stores, restaurants, outlet malls, etc.);
  • Residential (homes and other dwelling units);
  • Industrial zones (manufacturing businesses);
  • Rural (farms, open land, etc.);
  • Aesthetic (appearance of structures must adhere to certain requirements);
  • Environmental (set to protect sensitive or endangered natural land and/or species);
  • Historical (protects structures or land with a historical significance).

In addition to the main zoning designation, there may be a sub-type designation, such as a residential zone for single family homes only. Furthermore, a property or land parcel may have more than one zone. For example, an area of land may be considered both rural and environmental. In all instances, the intended use of the property must meet the requirements of all its zoning designations.

Protect Your Interests Prior to Purchase

While, in some cases, you may be able to obtain a waiver, variance, or zoning change that will allow you to use a parcel of land as you wish, there is no guarantee that you will be granted an exception. As such, it is critical that you practice due diligence prior to purchasing undeveloped property. Spend time examining the local zoning map to determine the property's zoning designation. Obtain a copy of the area's applicable zoning ordinances to determine if your intended use of the property is permitted. Look at surrounding areas and their zoning designations to ensure that there will not be a conflict of interest or use of a neighboring property. Above all, obtain the experienced assistance of an experienced real estate attorney.

At Lindell & Tessitore, P.C., we have extensive experience in handling the complexities and nuances of zoning designations and regulations. Dedicated to protecting your interests, we take a personalized and attentive approach to helping you deal with land development issues, real estate purchases, and due diligence in your land development project. To learn more about how we can help with your situation, contact our Oak Brook zoning and land development lawyers today. Call us at 630-288-2555.




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