land use & zoning law

General Plan

A term referring to a document that describes an overall vision for an area of land: either a development, neighborhood, city or larger area of property. This document considers what the area is (or sub-areas) will be used for, and often may provide...

Home Office

The area of a home also utilized as a business' primary office. Business-related expenses incurred from the home office may be tax deductible if the business owners spends over half of his or her time working from there.

Also may refer to the...

Improvement

As applies to real estate, any permanent structure or work (such as planting trees) on real property, which increases its value or extends its useful life. As defined by the IRS, an addition to or alteration of a capital asset, which either increases...

Land use

land use law: an overview

In colonial America, few regulations existed to control the use of land, due to the seemingly endless amounts of it. As society shifted from rural to urban, public land regulation became important, especially to city...

Metes and Bounds

Metes and bounds are the boundaries of a parcel of real estate that identified by its natural landmarks. Metes and Bounds landmarks are often used in a “legal description” of a land. Legal description is the geographical description of a land that...

Mining Claim

A mining claim is a portion of land containing minerals which a miner has a right to occupy and possess for the purpose of extracting minerals. The Mining Law of 1872, which provides a statutory framework for the extraction of minerals on public lands...

nonconforming use

Also known as a prior nonconforming use (PNU), this exists when a zoning code is changed, but a parcel of land that is already being used for something disallowed by the new zoning code is "grandfathered in" (is allowed to continue). For example, if a...

occupancy standard

Occupancy refers to living in or using premises or property as a customary and usual place of habitation to which return is contemplated after temporary absence (Travers v. Universal Fire & Cas. Ins. Co., 34 S.W.3d 156 (Mo. App. 2000)). Tenant and...

outbuilding

An outbuilding is a structure that is separate and detached from the main dwelling on a piece of land. An outbuilding may take various forms including barns, garages, or sheds, among others. Outbuildings can serve a functional role as...

Reservation

1) A provision in a deed which creates a new right or interest for the grantor in the conveyed real property. For example, if a grantor is selling lots that have a private road traversing it, which the grantor wants to maintain access to, the...

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