How zoning laws can impact your real estate deal

On Behalf of | Jan 3, 2024 | REAL ESTATE LAW - Land Use & Zoning

Multiple details go into completing a successful real estate transaction. Price negotiations, securing financing and reviewing contract details are just a few factors to consider throughout the process.

One aspect that is often overlooked is the community’s zoning laws. Many real estate developers have found themselves with worthless investments because they failed to understand the various regulations governing their property use.

Arlington’s different zones

Zoning laws are rules and regulations that define how property in a specific region can be used. They play a pivotal role in shaping the physical layout of communities and cities, protecting property values, preserving the environment and promoting public health and safety.

Arlington has several zoning districts, which can be categorized as follows:

  • Residential Districts include single- and multi-family units, townhouses, and a planned community.
  • Non-residential Districts consist of businesses, offices, manufacturing and mixed commercial use.
  • Overlay and Planned Development Districts are areas designed to promote compatibility, conserve an area or enhance a particular community characteristic. 

In addition, there is also an Opportunity Zone in the city of Arlington aimed at attracting economic investment by providing tax incentives to investors. 

These zoning districts can significantly impact a real estate transaction. A parcel of land in the residential district can’t be used to open a commercial business. Furthermore, zoning regulations determine what can be built on the property, including the type, size, style and height of the buildings, along with other considerations, such as parking requirements.

If the property’s use violates the zoning laws, the owner can find themselves in legal disputes that can delay or derail their plans. Therefore, researching a property’s zoning regulations is essential when considering a real estate investment.