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Massachusetts Zoning & Land Use Blog

Is the property you want subject to easements?

Finding the right property depends on a variety of factors. You may look at several tracts of land before deciding on one. Once you do, you begin the process involved in completing the transaction. As part of that process, a title search occurs that tells you the history of the property, including any easements that may exist.

Easements grant someone else the right to use a portion of the land you intend to buy. More than one type of easement exists, and understanding each of them, along with how they could affect your use of the property, along with its value, is crucial.

A Case Study in Conditions to a Variance

Recently one of our clients was forced to confront a challenge to the operation of their dog kennel business, which had been operating lawfully in a residential zoning district pursuant to a use variance granted in 1973. The challenge was that the variance authorized the kennel business, but not the use of exterior play yards that allowed the dogs to socialize and come to the kennel for day care. The case required an exploration of the scope of conditions that attach to variances. Based upon the analysis that follows, our office successfully protected our clients' business.

When land transfers ownership, do easements transfer with it?

When buying property in Massachusetts, you would be wise to consider issues that could cause legal complications in the future or compromise your property rights. One of these things is to learn about any easements that may affect the way that you can use your property. In some cases, the transfer of the property could affect whether or not an easement is still in effect.

Easements can transfer with the property when it changes hands. If you have concerns about what will happen to the easement connected to your property and how you can protect your interests, it can be beneficial to secure qualified guidance to help you protect yourself as the property owner. The result of your situation may largely depend on the type of easement in question.

Resolve boundary disputes in an effective and beneficial manner

As a Massachusetts property owner, a boundary dispute is a direct threat to your interests. When there is conflict over the dividing line between two properties, it could be a necessity to take legal action to protect your property rights. While litigation is sometimes the best way to handle these matters, it may be possible to seek a peaceful solution out of court.

It may be helpful for you to understand the various ways that you can handle boundary disputes. With the appropriate legal guidance, you can pursue a solution to your legal concern in a way that protects your financial well-being. Before you make an agreement or move forward with another important decision that could affect your property interests, you may find it useful to seek a complete explanation of your legal options.

Rezoning could make that piece of property perfect

After conducting an exhaustive search for a piece of property that you believe would be the ideal location for your business, you discover that it's not zoned for your use. Do you move on and give up on that stretch of land?

Don't give up just yet. It may be possible to rezone the parcel to put the property into compliance with the land use and zoning laws of the area. Obtaining a change in the applicable zoning laws may require assistance.

Is this the right place to set up shop? Check for zoning issues

You have decided to open your own business. Congratulations! It is undoubtedly an exciting time in your life. When looking for the right place to set up shop, you may run into a few problems, though. Zoning laws in Massachusetts limit commercial property, so finding just the right location that fits your needs may be a bit of a challenge.

Many small business owners start out by renting commercial space. It is a safe way to go until their business really take off. It also allows them freedom to move if they feel it necessary. However, depending on the type of business you are opening, some commercial spaces that are available for rent may not end up working for you due the property's current zoning. If you find the perfect spot and zoning doesn't work with your needs, you may be able to fight for a zoning change.

Should you trust the legal description on the deed to your land?

Where does your property end and your neighbor's property begin? Do you rely on the description in your deed to know where to put a fence line? What happens if that description is wrong? What if your property line isn't where you thought it was?

One wrong number or reference in a legal description can make a difference in the boundary of your land. Misinterpreting the description can be costly. If you find yourself facing a dispute about the boundaries of your property, you might invest in a survey to be sure what property you actually own. As an added benefit, a survey will more than likely provide you with more information than just the boundary lines of your property.

Putting up a new telecommunications tower isn't only your call

Since the explosion of cell phone usage in the United States, providers have struggled to keep up with the demands for more coverage and better service. Having a reputation for dropped calls could essentially ruin a telecommunications company, so ensuring that enough towers are in place to prevent that eventuality is crucial.

Erecting new towers is about much more than buying some real estate, however. First, you must jump through some hurdles set up to protect the environment and the public and satisfy the aesthetic desires of property developers and owners.

Panning for gold in the waters of commercial real estate

It seems like such an easy thing. You purchase a piece of land and develop it into commercial property. Perhaps your dream includes office buildings or retail space, or maybe you plan to join the many in Massachusetts who are creating multi-use buildings to attract customers for a variety of purposes.

Whatever your idea involves, there is no shortage of available space to build your project and no end of uses for that property. Before dumping your hard-earned and carefully saved money into a newborn scheme, investment advisors recommend you examine the pros and cons of taking on such a risky idea.

What you need to know about zoning changes

If you purchase a piece of land, a building or other type of property in Massachusetts, the way that you use the property must adhere to its current zoning designation. Zoning restrictions are what prevent builders from putting a convenience store in the middle of a neighborhood and other similar situations. The intent is to protect the integrity and appropriate use of the surrounding buildings, property and area at large.

However, you may purchase a piece of property that does not currently have a designation that meets your needs or intentions. In some cases, you may be able to walk through the appropriate course of action to secure a change in zoning.