Avoid Common Building and Zoning Violations

Building and Zoning Code violations cloud title and reduce the value of real property. Further, unabated violations can add up to thousands of dollars in enforcement fines. State and municipal laws concerning code standards vary depending on the specific jurisdiction where the property is located. However, the following are some of the most frequent violations to pay attention to before purchasing new property:

1. Unauthorized Construction or Renovations: This violation pertains to instances where property owners or contractors undertake construction or renovation work without obtaining the necessary permits or approvals. It encompasses activities such as adding or altering structures, modifying electrical or plumbing systems, or making structural changes without proper authorization.

2. Setback Violations: Setbacks refer to the minimum required distance between a building or structure and the property lines. Violations arise when a building extends beyond the permitted setback limits, encroaching upon neighboring properties or public spaces.

3. Height Restrictions: Zoning regulations often prescribe maximum height limits for buildings to ensure a consistent skyline, preserve views, or prevent shading on adjacent properties. Violations occur when a structure exceeds the maximum allowable height without obtaining the required variances or exceptions.

4. Land Use Violations: These violations involve using a property in a manner inconsistent with the permitted uses designated for the zoning district. Examples include operating a commercial business in a residential zone or utilizing a property for industrial purposes in an area designated for residential use.

5. Parking Violations: Zoning codes typically stipulate the minimum number of parking spaces required for different property types or land uses. Violations occur when there is insufficient provision of parking or when parking spaces are not designed or maintained in accordance with the regulations.

6. Signage Violations: Graphics codes frequently regulate the size, placement, and type of signage allowed on properties. Violations include oversized signs, signs placed in prohibited areas, or illuminated signs that exceed lighting restrictions.

7. Occupancy Violations: These violations arise when the number of occupants in a building surpasses the maximum limit established by the building code or occupancy permit. Overcrowding can lead to safety hazards and compromised living conditions.

8. Historic Preservation Violations: In areas with historic preservation regulations, violations occur when property owners make alterations or modifications to protected structures without obtaining proper approvals. This includes unauthorized demolition, alterations that detract from the historical character, or failure to maintain historic buildings in a suitable condition.

It is crucial to note that the specific violations and their severity can significantly differ based on local regulations and enforcement practices. Therefore, it is imperative to consult the particular Building and Zoning Codes applicable in your area and obtain the necessary permits and approvals before commencing any construction or land use activities.

Did you know we regularly represent clients on code violation matters? Should you have any inquiries, we invite you to contact us at info@birchwood.law.

Disclaimer: The information presented here is provided solely for informational purposes and does not constitute legal advice on any subject matter. The content does not create an attorney-client relationship, and its receipt does not establish such a relationship. It is recommended to seek advice from an attorney licensed in your state or country before taking any action based on this information.