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Sometimes zoning ordinances, processes need to be challenged

The idea of zoning has grown commensurate with the expansion of towns and cities in Illinois and nationally, with zoning laws already having been enacted in some American municipalities more than a century ago.

The vast Chicago metro has of course employed zoning rules and processes from the early days of its development. That reality is notably apparent to anyone familiar with Chicagoland environs and their purposeful development.

Zoning is dynamic, but it is not static. That is, although zoning is a central instrument for driving urban orderliness, its dictates don’t always turn out to be ideal. A zoning regulation in a given instance might not provide for an ideal solution. Zoning can sometimes even stifle needed change and undermine the legitimate interests of one or multiple property owners.

Because that is the case, zoning authorities sometimes entertain petitions seeking material changes to existing fiats. A property owner using land in a certain way prior to any zoning edict might reasonably want to seek permission to continue using it similarly notwithstanding new area restrictions on doing so. Petitioning for such a non-conforming use is common.

So too is a property owner’s request for a variance, which seeks a deviated use from existing zoning rules. Perhaps the idea for a store in a residential area is presented. Maybe a water park in the midst of a school district is being proposed.

An in-depth overview of zoning challenges and opportunities underscores that, “Zoning changes and variances could open up a whole new world of possibilities for using your property, or they could have a disastrous impact.”

Zoning issues are inherently complex. Questions or concerns regarding any zoning matter can be suitably addressed to a proven zoning and land-use attorney.

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