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You Can’t Always Ask for Forgiveness Instead of Permission

Zoning. It’s a word that inspires yawns everywhere. Unfortunately, our clients who have found themselves opposite their local zoning boards have not been yawning when they’ve been in our offices. They’ve been angry. Fortunately for them, they’ve had us in their corner to fight for their right to use their property.

No matter the situation, if you have a zoning issue, you can have your voice heard at the local zoning board meeting. At this meeting, you can have an attorney represent you. Our job is to parse through the procedural rules of your local board, read the rules, read the transcripts of recent board meetings, review your plans, and determine the best strategy to get you where you want to go, and when we get to the zoning meeting, we go toe-to-toe with the members of the board. Whether you are building a million dollar warehouse or a thousand dollar patio, we can be there to help you convince the zoning board that it’s a good idea.

They say “all politics is local,” and nowhere is that more true than in zoning. Zoning rules are made locally, and the zoning board is made up of local residents. This helps to give the different cities in Ohio their own local flavor, but it also creates some situations that don’t always make sense. Maybe the new zoning district for the big development project catches your house, making it more difficult for you to remodel, or maybe the aesthetic of your business’ sign is a little too unique for the taste of the zoning panel. Maybe you want to do something on your land that the panel doesn’t think you’re allowed to do.

No matter why you find yourself in front of the zoning board, you need someone who knows how to navigate the system, especially if the board won’t agree with you. There are deadlines and specific procedures that must be followed closely. Missing one of these items can cause your application to be thrown out, with no opportunity to bring it again for a period of time. As our regular readers know, we love to go to the mat for our clients, and if you’re being denied permits or being fined because of a zoning issue, that’s a fight we’d love to take on for you.

Ben Worsowicz is an Associate at Lardiere McNair, LLC.  To read more about our firm, please visit www.lmcounsel.com.

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