land use & zoning law

Restriction

A restriction is any limitation on activity, by statute, regulation, contract provision, or in a conveyance. Individuals or persons seeking restrictions may be limited in what they can restrict, however. For example, a...

Restrictive covenant

A restrictive covenant is a provision in a real property conveyance that limits the grantee’s use of the property. The beneficiaries of a restrictive covenant obtain rights from such covenants, and this may be the parties who agreed to the...

Right of way

Right of way is the right to pass over or through real property owned by someone else, usually based upon an easement; also, “right-of-way.” The right of way may specify the parameters of the easement or may be a general right to pass over or...

riparian

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryReferring to land adjoining a river or stream.

Definition provided by Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary.

riparian rights

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryRights of the owner of land adjacent to a river or stream to use the water for certain purposes. State laws vary on the extent of the rights given riparian landowners.A riparian landowner may not, however...

servient estate

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryA parcel of land that is subject to an easement that benefits another parcel of real estate, called a dominant estate. For example, one parcel (the servient estate) might be subject to a right of way that...

setback

The distance a building must be from the street as required by zoning laws. For example, if the zoning calls for a 10 foot setback, there must be at least 10 feet between the street and any house or building.

spot zoning

Changing the zoning restrictions for a specific piece of land, but not the surrounding parcels.

structure

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionaryanything built on land, from a shed to a highrise.

Definition provided by Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary.

summary probate

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryA relatively simple probate proceeding available for "small estates," as that term is defined by state law. Every state's definition is different, and many are complicated, but a few states include...

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