Local city and county authorities use zoning ordinances to regulate and control land uses. The primary goal of zoning laws is to create desirable urban outcomes while preserving the character of a community. Zoning laws not only regulate the specific use of your land, but also things like building height, building characteristics, landscaping and density or lot size.
City and county governments are responsible for making zoning decisions and implementing a comprehensive zoning plan. Local zoning plans are usually enacted using some combination of the five major zoning classifications: (1) residential; (2) mixed residential and commercial; (3) commercial; (4) industrial; and special (i.e., power plants, sports complexes, airports etc.). Each of these categories usually have many sub-categories with their own restrictions. An unfavorable zoning decision is more easily challenged when the proposed zoning is consistent with the municipality’s comprehensive plan.
We regularly work with property owners when they become involved in difficult and complicated zoning matters. In those situations where you need to obtain a rezoning in order to put your property to its highest and best use, we can help. Likewise, we have extensive experience working with groups of property owners when it appears that their own property values are going to be harmed by a proposed rezoning. We have worked with private property owners, businesses and neighborhood associations across Mississippi to successfully oppose rezoning petitions which will adversely impact their property values.
Zoning decisions by a city or county can significantly impact the value and use of your property. As a private property owner, you have the right to appeal any adverse zoning decision to circuit court — and if necessary to the Mississippi Supreme Court.
With any zoning appeal, the burden is on the landowner to prove that the zoning action taken was illegal, arbitrary or capricious. Because this is a heavy burden, it is important for the landowner to make a full and complete record of all proceedings. When the stakes are high, it is important to involve experienced legal counsel at the beginning of the process.
Protecting Private Property Rights
We are committed to protecting the rights of private property owners throughout the State of Mississippi. Our attorneys have experience working with individual homeowners, businesses, and developers to successfully resolve all types of zoning land use issues. We also have extensive experience representing clients before local planning and zoning boards, city councils, county commissions, boards and state agencies throughout the State of Mississippi.
To discuss how we can assist you with your specific zoning or land use matter, contact us online or call our office locally at 601-957-3101.