Fighting an Approved Rezoning Request

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UPDATED: Jul 15, 2021

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Written By: Jeffrey JohnsonUPDATED: Jul 15, 2021Fact Checked

Even after a rezoning request is approved by the zoning board, opponents can still try to overturn the decision. An appeal can be a complicated legal matter that requires proof of an error in the process of making the change, or a flaw in the rezoning decision.

Consider an Appeal

If the rezoning directly affects your property or the land adjacent to you, you have the legal right to file a complaint. You will likely be required to prove you attempted to stop the zoning change during the proposal process in order to increase your chance of winning the appeal. When challenging a zoning change, it is advantageous to have hired an attorney during your initial rezoning opposition at the public hearing, and use the same legal counsel for a subsequent appeal.

Challenging the Process

A zoning change cannot occur unless the local zoning board correctly followed the required procedure. An error in the process may lead to a successful zoning appeal. If a zoning board in considering a change failed to notify interested individuals. misrepresented the changes to be made, made the changes at the wrong time, or otherwise passed a rezoning proposal without properly following all the local ordinances controlling the case, consider an appeal. Because of the significant impact a rezoning can have on a community, it is important that the zoning board followed the required procedures prior to changing zoning. If the board failed to properly enact a zoning change, you can argue that failure on appeal.

Challenging the Decision

In addition to filing a zoning appeal for procedural errors, a zoning board’s decision may be overturned because it was arbitrary and unreasonable. When a rezoning proposal is passed it must have taken into account long-range neighborhood planning. A zoning board cannot rezone a community simply because it wants to or because one or two influential citizens demand it. Generally, a zoning board’s decision must be supported by evidence that the rezoning was done for the good of the community, and in accordance with careful local planning.

Getting Legal Help

Any decision to file a zoning appeal should be guided by your local attorney familiar with rezoning procedures. The process of challenging and appealing a zoning decision can be complicated and requires significant attention to time lines and legal procedures. An attorney will provide you with the best opportunity to file and win your zoning appeal.

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Written by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer Jeffrey Johnson

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