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All About Laguna Altura in Irvine, CA

Understanding the Basics of Land Use Laws

By , 9:00 am on

There are countless freedoms that homeowners enjoy once they’ve purchased an Irvine home for sale. With your own property, you can alter and improve your living environment without having to first obtain the approval of a landlord. It’s vital to note, however, that every significant property change must be approved by the appropriate local authorities. Whether seeking to alter building structures on your land or change the way in which your property is being used, you must first gain approval from the city and county in which the property exists.

Why Land Use Laws Exist

There are countless benefits that land use laws provide. City and county planning departments rely on these ordinances to ensure fair, balanced and proper use of the available land within their jurisdictions. The need to seek approval for land use changes protects community aesthetics, resident safety, and the integrity of the natural environment. It also creates a balanced array of communal features in the area. Moreover, the fees and fines that are collected in relation to land use laws are used in part to support the local infrastructure. Although most proposed changes are never this extreme, without land use laws, homeowners would have the freedom to operate gas stations in their front yards.

Protection of Native and Cultural Resources

Changes in property layouts, physical structures or barriers and certain property additions may have an impact on native and cultural resources. Before companies are allowed to develop new land and homeowners are allowed to build, alter, or tear down physical structures, it must be determined by city or county planning departments that no cultural or native resources will be in any way compromised by these developments. Problems that might impact these projects include noise or vibration concerns, the removal of cultural landmarks, and the establishment of prohibitive barriers.

Wildlife Conservation

Planning departments must also be cognizant of the impact that new developments have on native animal and plant species. Changes in physical structures and in the way in which property is being used could deprive endangered or protected species of important resources or access to natural habitats. Efforts to mitigate problems like these often include requirements for replanting trees that are removed, limiting physical barriers and protecting bodies of water and waterways.

Wildfire and Erosion Prevention

Certain changes in land use can also increase the likelihood of natural and man-made events such as wildfire and erosion. Changes in property grading, massive alterations in natural landscapes and the addition of certain construction materials or plant species can all have an impact on the integrity of local terrain and overall fire safety. Thus, even some moderate, outdoor renovations may need to be approved by local authorities before work is started.

In addition to seeking the approval of city or county planning departments, homeowners should also consult with their HOAs. There are countless rules pertaining to property modifications and general land use that homeowners must adhere to. Understanding the restrictions that are specific to your location is therefore the very first step in planning any renovation or redevelopment project.

When shopping for a home, Irvine real estate agents can educate you on specific renovation dos and don’ts if you find a property you’re interested in. We can also show you condos and townhomes for sale in Irvine if you’re interested in something lower maintenance. For more information or to schedule an appointment, give us a call at (714) 454-6304.

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