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Property zoning laws

Before purchasing property in Delaware, it is important to understand what zoning category the property falls under. The zoning category is indicative of how the property may be used by the property owner. For instance, a property could be zoned for residential, commercial or industrial use. Other zoning designations include agricultural zoning, combination zoning, esthetic zoning and historic zoning.

A property that is zoned for residential use can have homes, apartments, condominiums or trailer parks built on it. The specific zoning laws of the area where the property is situated will cover issues like how many structures can be built on the property and whether or not mobile homes can be parked on the property. Rules about the types of pets that are allowed on a property will also be specific to the area. Some residential zones allow home-based business and some do not.

In areas zoned for commercial use, a number of different kinds of businesses can be built. Shopping centers, hotels, office buildings and nightclubs may be built in a commercial zone. Most commercial zones allow any type of real estate to be built except single-family homes. Certain businesses, specifically adult entertainment establishments, are often restricted or prohibited from commercial zones.

A person who is looking to invest in property might want to consult a real estate attorney about zoning laws in the area before closing the deal. Oftentimes, the manner in which the property owner can use the property will directly contribute to its value. If a person would like to develop a residential property for commercial land use, an attorney may be able to help the property owner to submit a rezoning petition to the applicable authority.

Source: Findlaw, "Types of Zoning", December 08, 2014

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