Zoning laws are among the most important factors you need to consider when buying real property in Texas. Whether you want to invest in residential or commercial real estate, it is critically important for you to find out what the proposed site is zoned for and whether you are able to use the property the way you intend.
At Kelly Legal Group, we have a team of skilled and knowledgeable zoning lawyers who have an in-depth understanding of Texas real estate law and have extensive experience in representing clients in any legal issue involving zoning, land use, and other related practice areas – including rezoning, variance, special exception, landmarks authorization, and many more.
Our Austin, TX land-use attorneys can provide you with the legal advice you need, obtain the necessary permits and approvals, and advise you on how to meet your development expectations and long-term investment objectives.
How Do Zoning Laws Work in Texas?
Zoning laws and land-use regulations in Texas are designed to regulate the development and use of real property in different areas. These laws are enacted at the local or municipal level by the city council or other governing body and can differ from one area to another.
The most common types of zoning categories include:
Apart from this, certain areas might fall under the category of combination zoning, wherein two or more zones might intersect in the same area and the real property in that area can be used for more than one purpose.
The primary purpose of zoning and land use laws in Texas is to protect and promote the safety, health, and welfare of people in a particular locality. These laws are designed to prevent incompatible land uses within a locality and the negative consequences that can result from it.
Land use and zoning laws are also meant to preserve the character and aesthetic of a particular locality. These laws prevent new developments from drastically changing the nature, character, or look of the locality.
Can Zoning Laws Be Changed in Texas?
Zoning and land use laws in Texas are not set in stone and can be amended or suspended if needed. Under Texas law, the Board of Adjustments (BOA) has the authority to modify zoning ordinances and regulations or grant variances and special exceptions if needed.
The BOA can grant a variance or a special exception to a property owner or property developer under the following circumstances.
- If it is not possible to meet the standards and requirements set by the zoning ordinances due to the nature of the property in question.
- If complying with the existing laws and regulations can create an undue hardship for the applicant.
- If the existing laws and regulations – interpreted literally and applied – might deprive the applicant of rights that other property owners in the same zone enjoy.
- If granting the variance or special exception to the applicant will not affect the rights of other property owners in the locality or impair public health and safety in any way.
It should be noted that a variance or exception granted to one party might not be applicable to another party. If the previous owner of the property you are planning to buy used it for a purpose other than what is allowed under the local zoning and municipal law, it does not mean that you might be able to do so as well. You need to apply for a variance or exception separately with the help of a zoning attorney experienced in this practice area.
Get the Most Trusted Zoning Attorneys in Texas on Your Side
If you are planning to buy residential or commercial property in Texas, the experienced land-use zoning attorneys at Kelly Legal Group can interpret and explain the relevant laws and regulations to you, apply for a variance or special exception, represent you at hearings before city councils, controlling boards, and other government agencies, obtain the licenses and permits you need and help you with a wide range of other legal issues related to land use and zoning.
To schedule a free consultation with a seasoned Texas zoning lawyer from our law firm, call us today at 512-505-0053 or contact us online.