Anyone considering building a structure or adding onto an existing one is familiar with zoning—the legislative process for dividing land into zones for different uses. Zoning laws are in place in cities across the country to improve the safety, health and general welfare of all residents. This post will teach you the basics regarding zoning and land planning in Idaho.
Why is zoning important?
Though zoning regulations can be a hassle for some developers and folks looking to build or add onto their homes, our cities would be chaos without them. Without zoning, there could be a scenario in which a massive, polluting factory is constructed in a suburban residential neighborhood. We’re here to tell you that wouldn’t make any homeowner happy! Luckily, zoning laws prevent that from happening and ensure the health and safety of everyone in the neighborhood.
How can I determine my zoning?
To figure out what your land is zoned for and whether or not you may build anything on it, you’ll need to speak with someone from the city zoning and planning department. A government official can provide you with maps and documents that specifically outline what you can and cannot build on your land.
Can my zoning be changed?
Let’s say you recently found out that your land is zoned for residential purposes, but you really want to build a business on it. You’re not totally out of luck—zoning laws can sometimes be changed under the right circumstances. Here’s how to go about altering your zoning:
- Study the documents: First things first, you’ll need to pore over all of the maps and documents that were given to you by the city officials. Since land planning in Idaho can be complicated, you will likely to need to consult a professional to help break down the information.
- Submit an application: Now that you have all of your ducks in a row, you’ll need to appeal to the city to change your zoning. In your application, you’ll need to go into detail regarding things like intended use and your plan for new infrastructure.
- Get neighbors’ support: The best way to win your appeal is to have the support of everyone in the neighborhood. The city is much more likely to change your zoning if they know that others in the community are in favor of the plan. Collecting signatures is one way to go about it, but it’d be even more helpful to get written statements from people who will be impacted by your proposal.
- Present your case: Finally, you’ll need to go in front of city officials and lay out your case. Though this isn’t a trial and you don’t need a lawyer or witnesses, you’ll want to be prepared for some hard-hitting questions. After all, the government isn’t going to change a decades-old plan for just anyone!
Whether you need a consultation for land planning in Idaho or someone to survey your lot, our team at Mason & Associates is here for you! Give us a call today to see what we can do for you.