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County changes zoning districts on private land

Linden Smith

Cyburbian
Messages
141
Points
6
Many areas have laws like that and yes, it is legal.

The zone change process is like the bell around the cats neck. When land use is going to change, the bell rings and a public hearing is held. Zoning is granted based upon what is going to happen, not just for the purpose of speculation. That is because the land use must fit into a bigger picture, and the neighbors in the area also have the same rights and expectations as you do in enjoying their property.

What you need to do is ask that the Comprehensive Plan future land use designation reflect the intent you have for future development. It may be that they need to have a more definitive answer to what and when the land use will be than you can give them. They would then designate it based upon the suitabilty of the land and location for what the community needs.

The land should be zoned as it is used presently. Then when you are ready to develop you can present a specific plan at the zone change hearing.
 

Ken Hauck

Member
Messages
1
Points
0
The county where I live has an ordinance called (optional revocation), which states that if a parcel of land is not being used for what it is zoned for, then after 3 years the zoning board may institute proceedings of its own motion to rezone to another classification. This strikes me as the taking of land. I purchased some land with the intent of developing it, had it rezoned and approved. I didn't have the funding at the time and now the county is trying to rezone the land. The property will lose 50 to 75% of its value.

Does any one know of any other laws or situations like this, and is this legal?
 

Brent

Cyburbian
Messages
107
Points
6
Linden is right. However, property owners are entitled to due process when these types of situations arise (that may or may not be the case here).

If you have access to a law library, check out Board of County Commissioners of Brevard County, Florida v. Snyder. It was a similar situation. The property owner won. It may prove helpful - but remember Florida's laws are not relevant elsewhere.

Good luck.
 

Zoning Goddess

Cyburbian
Messages
13,853
Points
38
For future reference, you may have had the opportunity to apply for 'vested rights', which are rights to develop the land as planned at a later date. As a planner in Florida, the county in which I work allows vested rights for five years, at which time they expire and the land reverts to the previous zoning classification. Vested rights are typically required to be accompanied by an approved development order and an issued building permit(s). Some jurisdictions may even state you are required to have begun construction to allow vested rights, although our county does not.

What has happened is not a taking, and is legal. A taking is when your property is taken by the government and put to public use, without compensation. You have then been relieved of any economic return on your land.

You say the property will lose up to 75% of its value, but is that the value appraised after the rezoning, or is that the amount you purchased the property for? There is no constitutional right for you to make a profit on your land. That is not the government's responsibility.
 
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