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Real Estate Land Use Controls Terms and Examples

By Edited Jul 23, 2015 0 0

1) Planning Commission-

Definition: A committee responsible for making the general plan for a city or a county.

Example: Sarah, Ted, Thomas, and Ron work for the City of Menifee. They all work together to plan out what land should be used for what use around the city.

Elements:

a)     Committee- Sarah, Ted, Thomas, and Ron work together for the City of Menifee.

b)    Work for a city or county- The committee works for the City of Menifee.

c)     Plan the community- The committee works together to plan what land should be used for around the city.

2) General Plan-

Definition: A plan that outlines the community development policies and the overall uses and design for land throughout a specific area.

Example: A planning commission works for a city and makes plans for land use.  They create a document that outlines the use and rules for the land throughout the city. They decide 1/3 of the land will be used for commercial use, 1/3 will be used for residential use and the other 1/3 is negotiable. They also plan other things such as traffic patterns, transportation systems, etc.

Elements:

a)     Planning Commission- The planning commission creates the general plan.

b)    Plan the land- The planning commission works to create a document that outlines the use and rules for the land throughout the city.

c)     Plan the community- They also plan other things such as traffic patterns, transportation systems, etc.

3) Floor Area Ratio (FAR) Method-

Definition: The ratio allowed between a buildings floor space and the total area of the lot it occupies.

Example: A developer bought a lot and had plans to build a 3-story house that occupies 75% of the lot. He went to the city and found out the property was zones for either a 2 story house that occupies 75% of the property or a 3 story house that occupies 50% of the property. The developer had to change his plans to match what the property was zones for and not build the 3-story house on 75% of the land.

Elements:

a)     Ratio- The property is zones for either 75%-2 story house or 50% for a 3-story house.

b)    Floor space to lot area- The ratio includes both the floor space (2 or 3 stories) and the lot area (either 50% or 75%).

c)     Developers must typically follow the ratio- The developer had to change his plans to match what the property was zones for and not build the 3-story house on 75% of the land.

4) Variance-

Definition: A permit that allows for an owner to build or use the property for something that is typically not allowed.

Example: Paul wants to build a townhouse complex in an area where there are only single-family homes. Paul recognizes there is a need for townhouses in the area and he goes to the city and makes his case. He is granted a permit to build a townhouse complex even though that is typically not the sort of building that is allowed in that area.

Elements:

a)     Property is specified for use or building- Single-family homes are typical in Paul’s area.

b)    Owner wants to build or use the property for something unique- Paul wants to build a townhouse in a single-family home area.

c)     A permit to build or use for something not typically allowed-Paul is granted a permit to build a townhouse in the single-family home area.

5) Use Variance-

Definition: A permit that allows an owner to use a property for something other than what it’s zoned for.

Example: Terry bought a property at the end of a residential neighborhood. She thought this would be a perfect place to put in a convenience store because it was within walking distance of the home, but still far enough to not bother the homeowners. Terry went to the city and found out it was only zoned for residential, but she presented her case to the city and they gave her a permit that permitted her to build a convenience store on the property.

Elements:

a)     Property has limited zoning- Terry’s property is only zoned for residential.

b)    Owner wants to use or build something on the property not permitted- Terry wants to build a convenience store in a residential zoned area.

c)     Permit- Terry is given a permit to build the convenience store.

 

 

6) Davis Stirling Common Interest Development Act-

Definition: An act that provides the provisions for the creation and essential attributes for common interest developments.

Example: Robert wants to build an apartment complex.  He decides he only wants to hire one person to manage the complex but does not want to have an official association. Before he starts building he goes to the city to get approval and they inform Robert he is not following a specific act that requires him to have an association that manages the property.

Elements:

a)     Common interest development- Robert wants to build an apartment complex.

b)    An act that regulates common interest development- Robert must have an official association to manage the property.

c)     Developers of common interest developments must follow the act- Robert has to hire an association to manage the property if he wants to build the apartment complex.

7) Clean Air Act-

Definition: An act that requires the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate air pollutants to protect the public’s health.

Example: Larry wants to build a skyscraper using a machine that emits a lot of smog because it gets the job faster than a machine that emits less smog. Larry goes to the city to get his machine approved. The Environmental protection agency tells Larry he cannot use his machine because it will emit too many pollutants in the air and can be potentially hazardous to the people at and near the worksite.

Elements:

a)     Builder wants to use hazardous machine-Larry wants to build a skyscraper using a machine that emits a lot of smog because it gets the job faster than a machine that emits less smog.

b)    Environment Protection Agency- The Environmental protection agency tells Larry he cannot use his machine because it will emit too many pollutants in the air.

c)     Protect the public from pollution- Larry cannot use his machine because it emits pollution that could be hazardous to the people at and near the worksite.

8) Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act-

Definition: An act that protects the drinking water from being contaminated.

Example: Mike is a developer that discards all his dirty water from the worksite into a river nearby.  A neighbor saw Mike dumping his dirty water into the river and reported him. The department of health services immediately stopped Mike from discarding his water into the river telling he was breaking the law and cannot contaminate the drinking water sources.

Elements:

a)     Anyone can bring the problem into the public interest- A neighbor sees Mike dumping his water and complains to the city.

b)    The department of health services- The department of health services enforces the safe drinking water and toxic enforcement act by stopping Mike from dumping his dirty water into the river.

c)     Protect drinking water- The department of health services immediately stopped Mike from discarding his water into the river telling he was breaking the law and cannot contaminate the drinking water sources.

9) Covenant-

Definition: A promise to do or not do something.

Example: Tara is renting a house from Harry.  In the contract, it states Tara must never smoke cigarettes in the house. If Tara does not follow the no smoking rule she will be breaching her contract.

Elements:

a)     A contract- Tara has a rental contract for Harry’s house.

b)    A promise- Tara must promise not to smoke in the house.

c)     A promise between two or more parties- Tara must not smoke in Harry’s house.

10) Condition-

Definition: A promise to do or not do something in a contract that can result in a forfeiture of title.

Example: Sally bought a house that has 6ft fence around it as do all the other houses in her neighborhood. Sally decided she wanted more privacy and that she wanted to build a 10 ft block wall around her house. The association of her community tells her she will be violating one of the conditions in the contract for the house and could potentially have to forfeit her title if she builds the block wall.

Elements:

a)     A promise to do or not do something- Sally’s contract for home says she cannot build a 10 ft block wall around her home.

b)    A homeowner wants to break a promise in the contract- Sally wants to build a 10 ft block wall around her house.

c)     Potential to forfeit title- Sally may have to forfeit the title of her house if she wants to build a 10 ft block wall around her house.

 

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