The Florida Bar

Land Use & Zoning

December 12, 2022

Land use and zoning law is the regulation of the use and development of public and private real estate. Zoning is the most common form of land-use regulation, used by municipalities to control local property development. Zoning regulations typically divide a municipality (such as a city) into residential, commercial, and industrial zones. Thus, zoning laws are intended to maintain a level of order and efficiency within a municipality, while keeping each zone optimized for its intended purpose.

Other legal issues pertaining to land use include easements, trespassing, and eminent domain. An easement is a limited, non-ownership interest in another party’s property. For instance, one party may obtain an easement to gain legal access to their neighbor’s driveway if that is the only way to access their house. Eminent domain law is involved when the government seizes property to build a freeway or a park and must give the property owner fair compensation. The crime of trespassing occurs when an individual enters another’s property without consent.

Changes may occur in this area of law. The information provided is brought to you as a public service, and is intended to help you better understand the law in general. It is not intended to be legal advice regarding your particular problem or substitute for the advice of a lawyer.