Zoning regulates land use. The Georgia Zoning Procedures Law defines zoning as “the power of local government to provide within their respective territorial boundaries for the zoning or districting of property for various uses and the prohibition of other or different uses within such zones or districts and for the regulation of development and the improvement of real estate within such zones or districts in accordance with the uses of property for which such zones or districts were established.” Thus, zoning balances a property owner’s right to use his or her property with the public’s right to be protected from the uses of others.
Zoning laws have been repeatedly held to be constitutional so long as there is no abuse of discretion and the laws are not arbitrary, capricious, and unreasonable. The Georgia Zoning Procedures Law set forth minimum procedures to assure that due process is afforded to the general public when local governments exercise zoning power.
Rezoning can take two forms: 1) text amendments amending the zoning law itself, or 2) map amendments changing the mapping classification of one or more properties. Rezoning normally begins with an application of one or more land owners for rezoning, followed by a public hearing, action by the governmental body, and, if dissatisfied, legal action by the property owner within a limited period of time (usually 30 days).
Sometimes, rather than a rezoning, a property owner requests a variance from the zoning ordinance. Variances generally involve a petition for relief based upon the criteria set forth in a particular government’s zoning ordinance if the zoning ordinance works unnecessary and unreasonable hardship on individual property.
The zoning practice at Rosenzweig, Jones, Horne & Griffis is headed by George Rosenzweig and Melissa Griffis. They have wide experience in zoning map amendments, zoning text amendments, and variances, successfully representing property owners both at the application stage, at hearings in front of governmental bodies, and in litigation in state and federal courts.
32 South Court Square
P.O. Box 220
Newnan, Georgia 30264
TEL (770) 253-3282
FAX (770) 251-7262
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