Laguna Beach Land Use Attorney

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Laguna Beach Land Use Lawyer

Laguna Beach Land Use Attorney

From the rights of a property owner to zoning laws, every state has specific guidelines on how land can and cannot be used. This often makes finding and developing land a complex process, especially here in California. There are not only a wide range of laws around developing land in California, but there are also specific regulations implemented at local, state, and even federal levels that must be followed properly by everyone. Whether you are thinking about developing land to build your own private home or the government is taking your land for public use through eminent domain, working with one of our experienced land use attorneys here at Davis Toft can help you immensely.

Davis Toft: Laguna Beach’s Land Use Lawyers

Developing land involves a multitude of small details that all need to be followed correctly. Here at Davis Toft, our attorneys share decades of experience working in the field of law and representing clients across California. We know just how complex land development can be, from trying to get zoning rights to making sure you follow all city and federal guidelines correctly. That is why we offer a variety of legal services, such as land use planning and litigation, to help our clients legally use and develop land as they need. At Davis Toft, you can trust that our attorneys can provide you with high-quality, compassionate legal assistance and advice throughout your development projects.

What Is Land Use Law?

Land use law is an area of the law that focuses on using and developing land legally. Because land development has the potential to affect a variety of people, places, and things, there are a great number of laws in place at local and federal levels to ensure that development does not have an overall negative impact on its surroundings. From zoning approvals to the historical preservation of a site to permits for construction, anyone thinking of developing land has to take a multitude of details into consideration.

What Can a Land Use Lawyer Do for You?

Land use lawyers can help with development projects, protecting your rights, and more. Just a few of the ways our team of attorneys can assist you in Laguna Beach include:

Pursue Permits and Land Use Approvals

Every city is allowed to create boundaries that result in varying districts, all of which have different zoning laws and regulations that must be followed by potential developers in the area. All individuals looking to use and develop land must receive specific approval from the local government and various zoning groups before beginning any sort of construction. Our zoning lawyers can assist you with understanding the zoning regulations specific to the land you are looking at, as well as help you pursue permits for the rights to develop it.

Represent You During Litigation

Because developing land involves so many legal aspects, court hearings and litigation commonly occur during the development process. Our attorneys are not only accomplished in litigation and negotiation, but we also have experience representing clients in front of city, regional, and state officials. In the case of a dispute, conflict of interest, or other issues that may occur with your possible development, our lawyers can use their knowledge of the law and experience in court to represent you and fight for the best possible result.

Ensure Your Project Complies With Applicable Laws

Every district has distinct zoning regulations on how land can be used and how buildings may be designed. In addition to local guidelines, you or your business also have to adhere to state and federal laws in place for land developers. By hiring one of our land use attorneys, you can work together to ensure that all aspects of your future project comply with the laws that are in place. Our lawyers are familiar with Laguna Beach and Orange County regulations, as well as state and federal laws that may apply to your situation.

Communicate with Parties Involved

When deciding to develop an area, there will most likely be a variety of parties involved in your decision. Municipal officials, local and state representatives, community members, and planning commissions may all want to contact you throughout your development process. Working with our zoning lawyers can help relieve some of the stress that comes along with the constant communication needed to deal with all these groups and allow you to put your focus into your project.

Protect Your Rights

Land use attorneys do not just help clients that are looking to develop land. We can also assist with issues such as eminent domain or violations of your land rights. When the government wants to take the land that you own and use it for its own or public purposes, eminent domain requires them to compensate you fairly for what they are taking. Many eminent domain cases involve disputes over the value of the property the government is trying to use, which is why having a lawyer to represent you in these situations is crucial. By working with our land use attorneys, we can work to protect your rights and fight to make sure that you are compensated fairly when applicable.

Laws You May Encounter When Developing in California

Some of the laws your Laguna Beach, California building project may encounter include:

Zoning Laws

Every land developer must adhere to the local regulations of the district they are looking to build in. Zoning laws can include guidelines on how structures must be built, their architecture, what land is and is not allowed to be used for, and more. These regulations are implemented to allow cities to better control their growth and development. For example, a district may have a zoning law that limits commercial and industrial developments and reserves land for residential homes.

Environmental Regulation Laws

In California, there are both federal and state environmental regulations in place that developers must comply with. The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), enacted in 1970, is one of those laws. NEPA was one of the first national pieces of legislation to help protect the environment from large industries that have the potential to harm it. The protection act requires government agencies to analyze the environmental impact their proposed developments could have before making the decision to begin their project. They must provide a detailed statement of their analysis, as well as provide possible alternatives if the impact is negative.

Following the National Environmental Policy Act, the state of California decided to create its own form of the protection act. The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), which was also established back in 1970, helps protect the environment when land is used by potential developers. CEQA is similar to NEPA in that it requires all businesses to assess their proposal’s environmental impact and provide a detailed analysis of their findings. It also requires businesses to make their findings known to the public so that they are aware of the potential impact. Unlike NEPA, CEQA states that all developers must also try to reduce the environmental impacts of their proposals as much as possible.

Land Use Attorney FAQs

Q: Do You Need a Permit Before You Build in California?

A: Any sort of project that requires the development of land or construction requires permits to do so. You will not only need approval to use the land in question, but you will also need a permit to build the specific type of project you are thinking of, whether it is real estate or for a business.

Q: Can the Government Take My Property From Me?

A: In some cases, the government may use what is known as “eminent domain” to take land that is already owned by another individual. This is only allowed if the government compensates the individual fairly for what they are taking and they are using it for public or governmental uses.

Q: What Is an Impact Fee?

A: An impact fee is charged when a business has a development proposal approved but there is some sort of negative impact on the environment. The business must pay this fee to help offset the potential negative impact their development will have.

Q: Can Large Developers Build Anywhere in California?

A: No. Because each district implements its own zoning laws, they have the right to limit big companies and industries from developing in its area. Large industries must receive approval from a variety of groups in any city before starting a development.

California Land Use Lawyers that You Can Trust

At Davis Toft, we are dedicated to helping our clients with whatever their land use issues may be. Whether you are struggling to get a permit, or you believe that the government is not compensating you fairly for the land they are taking from you, our team can help you find solutions that work. With decades of experience, we are prepared to assist you through even the toughest of cases. If you are struggling with land use laws in Laguna Beach, do not wait to see how we may be able to help you. To learn more about our legal services and our team, contact us today for more information or to request a consultation.