Land Use Attorneys in Annapolis, MD
Evans Law helps clients achieve successful project development by identifying the best and most efficient path to the desired land use.
All plans for the use or development of real property touch on a broad range of laws that affect how—or if—those plans can happen. In most cases, businesses must comply with zoning restrictions on certain operations, and homeowners must obtain permission from the city government to remodel or build additions. Environmental issues can impact any project or plan.
Our attorneys assist clients in the following land use and zoning matters, including:
- Site plans
- Developer agreements
- Development covenants and restrictions
- Access permits
- Zoning use changes
- Rezoning applications
- Zoning appeals
- Master plan changes
- Easements and right-of-way agreements
- Boundary line disputes
- Grading permits
- Special use permits
- Highway occupancy and traffic considerations
- Condemnation and eminent domain proceedings
- Landmark proceedings
- Land use-related litigation
Can Zoning Laws Be Changed to Allow Use of Land for Commercial Purposes?
You’ve found the perfect location for your retail shop, office, or another business endeavor. The problem? The plot isn’t zoned for commercial use. Don’t give up yet—it may be possible to get the land rezoned for your intended use. While there are no guarantees and you should prepare for a time-consuming process, it may be worth it if the spot is that desirable.
Your Location Matters
Maryland’s counties approach land use and zoning in slightly different ways. The Tate is divided into charter counties and non-charter counties. It’s important to know what local law requires before becoming too invested in a location or spending too much time on paperwork.
Comprehensive and Piecemeal Zoning
There are two ways that zoning occurs in Maryland. The first is comprehensive. As its name implies, comprehensive zoning covers all of the plots in one neighborhood or general area. The goal is to create or maintain a cohesive character throughout the neighborhood, accounting for every piece of land within its borders.
Changes in the Neighborhood
This is where getting land rezoned can be complicated. If your proposed use of the land would significantly change the character of the neighborhood, you can expect pushback from local residents and other businesses, if applicable. To be able to use the parcel commercially, you must be able to prove that doing so would be in line with the neighborhood’s current character.
With hands-on, personalized service, we help clients of all sizes and needs obtain entitlements and achieve successful project development. Our attorneys know local zoning ordinances, land development codes, development regulations, and other restrictions and requirements, and will make sure they do not conflict with a client’s proposed project. If we do see a potential conflict, we are skilled at negotiating easements, licenses, and other development agreements.
Our attorneys are also prepared to challenge adverse administrative actions, and will vigorously litigate land use issues threatening to disrupt a planned project. For example, we regularly go before zoning boards to demonstrate the change of use prerequisites necessary for rezoning. Environmental regulations are another potential hindrance to successful project development. Our attorneys offer comprehensive strategies for clearing the numerous environmental hurdles that can challenge a project before, during, and after development.
Unfortunately, these are not the only legislative and regulatory problems that can put the brakes on a planned project. Other issues may arise, especially in situations where a project is controversial or will potentially affect neighboring operations or property. We have experience representing clients before administrative agencies and legislative bodies in hearings, rule making proceedings, and compliance disputes, advocating on behalf of our clients’ development interests.
Because we focus on real estate and construction law, our Annapolis attorneys can help you navigate the complexities of land use issues with a high degree of skill and service. For more information about our representation in the area of land use law, please contact the Evans Law to schedule a consultation.