Some areas of any given city in Minnesota may be designated as primarily residential, and thus are zoned for family homes, while others are primarily businesses and zoned for commercial use. Minneapolis and surrounding communities utilize different zoning plans and practically all communities include in their layouts designations for commercial space.
At one time, much of the United States' economy was supported by farming. At the local, state and national levels, agriculture provided not only the food that Americans needed to sustain themselves, but also a basis from which the economy could grow. Minnesota still produces a number of agricultural products, although new industries, like telecommunications and manufacturing, have invaded on agriculture's once dominant domain.
Last week this Minneapolis real property law blog looked at the specific topic of aesthetic zoning. This week it will focus on another unique form of zoning that property owners in the area may encounter -- historic zoning. As its name implies, historic zoning deals with the preservation and treatment of structures that have existed for long periods of time.
Communities throughout Minnesota may impose a variety of zoning rules on the individuals who own property within their borders. As discussed in prior posts on this real estate and land use law blog, zoning can dictate what types of buildings may be built in which areas of a city or town. Building a structure that does not conform to the zoning regulations permitted for location can result in the builder or property owner facing fines and other sanctions.
An easement is a right to use another person's property for a specific use or purpose. Many times, easements are created to give individuals means of ingress and egress to their own properties; after all, in order to access their land, they may have to cross the property of other parties. An easement could give an individual the right to cross the neighbor's property for the purpose of getting to or off of his own land.
When a new structure is built in Minneapolis or one of its surrounding communities, it is subject to various local and state regulations. Particularly, a new building generally must secure a building permit before its construction is undertaken. A building permit is effectively permission from a governmental authority to construct a building according to the specifications and details provided in a permit plan.
Ownership of real property may seem to be an absolute right. When a Minneapolis resident buys a tract of land the person may believe that the property owner as the full and unencumbered right to use that tract how the person wants and exactly as the property owner sees fit. However, land use laws may interfere with the use and enjoyment of the property.
Just outside of the Twin Cities sits the community of Stillwater, Minnesota. Like many other suburbs of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Stillwater operates with its own city ordinances and community-based rules. It employees a city council to review matters related to its government and recently an interesting zoning issue came up within the town.
Many Minneapolis residents have heard the phrase, "good fences make good neighbors." The implication of this concept is that neighbors do better when they are not in each other's business. However, it can be hard for some neighbors to stay out of each other's way when they do not agree on where one party's land ends and the other's begins.
The short answer is yes. Zoning standards change all the time and for a number of different reasons. A change may mean that your home does not conform, but it does not mean that your home is in violation of the new zoning codes.