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Why you need to know your zoning laws

One of the most common ways government regulations can impact your construction project is through zoning laws. Zoning laws can delay your project, make it more expensive than you planned and, in some cases, make it impossible to complete your project. No matter how you are involved in a construction process -- whether you are a property owner, contractor or financial backer -- understanding zoning laws can help you reach a successful outcome for your project without shelling out unnecessary funds or fighting fruitless legal battles.

One way to understand the relevant legal issues and zoning laws related to any project is to consult a lawyer who deals with such things on a regular basis. Consulting someone who understands all the laws in an area can help you make intelligent decisions about a project.

For example, one of the first questions anyone involved in construction should ask is: Can we build this type of building at this location? The answer is not always yes, and if you realize this, you can make other arrangements or seek out loopholes or changes to zoning.

Once you move forward with the construction process, it's important to understand what permits and building requirements are in place. If you don't have the right permit, you risk being shut down in the middle of building. If you don't follow the right requirements, you might not be able to use the building as desired even after it is built.

If you have questions about zoning laws, seek help before moving forward with the project. If you feel that someone else in the process has acted outside of the zoning or other regulations and might have damaged your project, then you might have a legal claim for restitution against that entity.

Source: Dummies.com, "Zoning Laws and Other Construction Regulations," John A. Yoegel, accessed March 18, 2016

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