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Understanding residential zoning laws

Building a home in Alabama can come with endless joys: the freedom to choose a layout plan, landscaping and interior design are only a few of the many benefits of building. With those benefits come the expected and less exciting aspect of zoning laws. Whether it is a neighbor dispute or a contract guideline, understanding the laws that govern property can easily raise confusion. By looking to the basics, builders and homeowners alike can become better informed about all parts of the process.

The Atlantic takes a less common route when looking at zoning laws in America. According to their 2015 piece on zoning codes, they stressed that such laws not only make matters challenging for developers; they also feed inequality in the country. Economists explain the growing gap between what land would cost without regulation and what it costs in reality, claiming this shift has led to a false notion of scarcity. And while the variety of zoning laws across the country can help communities in many ways, The Atlantic points out that they can also separate by means of exclusivity. 

 

With their ability to divide rather than unite in many cases, some Alabama residents may wonder about the real purpose of zoning laws. The World Bank provides an accessible outline of zoning laws and land use planning, sharing that zoning is necessary because, above all else, it allows authorities to control land for the purpose of complementary uses. Just as the aforementioned piece from The Atlantic noted, authorities may use zoning codes to speed up or slow down development in some areas. The World Bank also explains the different zoning districts, including residential. Although at times confusing and even frustrating, zoning laws exist to make living easier for residents in every neighborhood.             

 

 

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