Own 40 acres, now ordinance changes and cannot build on it.

We purchased 40 acres in 11/05 to build home on. Ordinances checked before buying, would not have bought if could not build home on property. In 2007, ordinance changed where a house cannot be built more than 300 feet from road. 40 is about 1/4 mile off road! Now cannot put a home on property. Variance application was denied. Is there anything that can be done to fight this, do we have a case? Property value obviously is significantly decreased now. (Property not in zip code below, but is in WI)

Asked on June 16, 2009 under Real Estate Law, Wisconsin


J.V., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

the only possible way around this is to look into possible grandfather clause. However if you had not moved to build or taken any steps this may not apply. unfortunately ordinances can be changed and sometimes situations like this will happen.

I am not admitted in WI so I would suggest you call a local attorney who specializes in this area of law. Tell them your exact location, show them the paperwork that you obtained stating it was legal to build, show them any other efforts made on your part to take the steps to do so. With all the paperwork they will be able to determine if you can make a motion for an exception, but you will have to accept a possible no although its worth pursing. good luck

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