We receive calls all the time from frustrated property owners who have found themselves at odds with local officials over whether their land use—be it commercial, religious, or residential—is permitted at their property. These conflicts can quickly escalate when neighboring property owners get involved and start demanding action from local officials. While these issues occasionally stem from a misunderstanding of what is occurring on the property or a mischaracterization of the land use in question, they can also occur when a property owner either fails to read or misreads the applicable zoning and land use regulations.
Modern zoning and land use regulations are far more complex than they were just ten years ago. They have expanded in both scope and depth. Whether your land use is prohibited, permitted, or conditionally permitted may depend on an analysis of the following:
-a municipality’s master or comprehensive plan
-the current zoning map
-overlay zoning requirements
-planned unit development requirements
-a future land use map
-the relevant zoning district regulations
-prior zoning permits and approvals for the specific property
-the municipality’s off-street parking requirements
And this is not even a comprehensive list of the types of land use regulations which may be in play.
Property owners that try to navigate this complex regulatory web alone often get in trouble. They often end up spending far more time and money getting out of trouble than they would have spent retaining a competent land use attorney to help them navigate the land use regulations on the front end. Unfortunately, even zoning officials sometimes provide property owners inaccurate information. In the end, no one wants to receive a cease-and-desist letter or wind up in court over something that could have been avoided in the first place.
If you need help navigating your local zoning and land use regulations, please let us know. We have handled a wide variety land use and zoning matters, and we are here to help.
Dalton & Tomich, PLC is the national leader in successfully helping churches, other religious institutions and their insurers defend their rights in land use and zoning matters under RLUIPA, the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act. We have helped clients win cases against municipalities and other local government bodies from coast to coast, with experience serving both as general counsel and special litigation counsel.
In 2015, Hope Rising Community Church experienced extreme opposition, the kind that would force it to close its doors and leave behind the families and youth it was so passionate about reaching. As the lead pastor I felt helpless, inferior and as if I had no […]Read More
Dalton & Tomich’s assistance in our RLUIPA matter has paved the way for our church to continue serving the community and for new churches in the area to thrive in the future. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your stand for religious […]Read More
The Urban Church will be forever grateful to Dalton & Tomich plc for navigating it through a difficult land use issue. Let them give you honest and caring advice because that’s exactly what they’ll do.Read More
Dalton & Tomich, PLC defended a complicated case at a church we insure. Not only is the firm professional, they understand how church business runs and work well within church leadership.Read More
Dalton & Tomich, PLC helped us immensely in the areas of litigation and negotiation! Their professionalism and understanding of church policy helped our church be victorious in a modern day religious land use battle. RLUIPA Religious Land Use Case: Lighthouse Community Church of GodRead More
Dalton & Tomich, PLC serves as General Counsel for the 144 churches within the Church of God in Michigan. The firm provides the legal expertise we need in dealing with the issues that arise during the course of fulfilling our ministry.Read More
I met Dan Dalton during a dark time for our church. He was recommended as the leading RLUIPA attorney in the nation. He demonstrated wisdom, expertise, a gentle nature, a calming inter-relational skill, genuineness, and a humble demeanor, while at the same time, being sharp, […]Read More
Mr. Dalton’s expertise and experience helped us through a very difficult legal journey, ultimately achieving a favorable outcome. His personal interest in helping our church went “above and beyond” just the call of duty. His understanding of both legal and spiritual matters seems to uniquely […]Read More