At Genesis Law Firm, our business and real estate attorneys assist clients with zoning and signage issues of most types, including county and municipal code issues. Our rates are substantially less than most other lawyers in Snohomish County, and our attorneys’ academic credentials are generally stronger as well. Reach us toll free at 866-631-0028 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Free Mandarin Chinese interpretation available upon request.
Frequently Asked Questions:
I’m not familiar with zoning laws. What are they? Zoning laws restrict how real property (land and things attached to the land, like houses) can be used. For example, some areas of real estate are zoned for residential use only–no industrial plants allowed. Other areas, especially waterfront properties, might have height restrictions.
When should I be concerned about zoning laws? Zoning laws can affect nearly anyone at any time, but there are few key situations when a person or business should pay especially close attention:
- When buying or renting real estate;
- When buying a business;
- When starting a new business;
- When renovating or undergoing a construction project;
- When adding a sign visible to the outside of a business or house; and
- When changing the use of property, such as running a different type of business from a location.
I can’t find any applicable zoning laws in the Revised Code of Washington. Where are they? Most zoning laws are in local codes, such as municipal and county codes. You can find links to most municipal and county codes using the MRSC website. The MRSC webpage linking to municipal codes is available by at http://mrsc.org/Home/Research-Tools/Washington-City-Codes.aspx. The page linking to county codes is available at http://mrsc.org/Home/Research-Tools/Washington-County-Codes.aspx.
The property I own has been used for an impermissible purpose for decades, and I never knew. Do I have to stop using it for that purpose? Maybe not. Your impermissible use might be grandfathered in (allowed because it predated the relevant zoning law), or at least it might be allowed under certain conditions. If not, you might be able to apply for a variance. We can help you determine this.