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Brevard County, Florida, legal blog

Check for easements before you buy that dream home

When you finally find that home that seems just right for your needs and budget, it can seem like its too good to be true — and it just might be, depending on the plans you have for the home and the property.

Many pieces of real estate carry easements, which are special privileges of use granted to some party other than the owner of a piece of property. These might mean that a neighbor has the right to use a portion of your backyard to drive through to the adjacent property, or may restrict the land from certain uses.

Navigating Brevard County's zoning bureaucracy

Management expert Dale Dauten said that "Bureaucracy gives birth to itself and then expects maternity benefits." It is certainly true that most long-time Brevard County residents can remember when life and government processes were simpler and easier to navigate.

If you're looking for an example of government in which the stakes are high and the processes are not always easy for a layperson to understand, look no further than the process of obtaining a change to zoning on a property.

Smoke lifts from Florida county marijuana dispensary decision

Communities across Florida are assessing damage done by Hurricane Irma. We urge readers to support relief efforts and lend a helping hand when possible.

Florida communities are also returning to the business that was at hand before the storm struck, which in many cases included evaluations of land use and zoning regulations that could affect the opening of marijuana dispensaries. We're going to take a brief look today at a county on the other side of the state that has wrestled with the idea of allow dispensaries and made a decision, though it's one that isn't welcomed by all.

Zoning as an expression of what cities want to be

It is more than 2,500 miles from Cocoa, Florida, to Meridian, Idaho. You might well wonder why we bring up this apparently obscure bit of trivia. The explanation lies in a recent article about the departure from Meridian of a city planner.

The planner and his wife are selling their house, packing up their motorhome and moving to the Chain of Lakes area near Winter Haven. There they will convert an RV park to a tiny home community.

Challenges to a zoning regulation

If you're facing a zoning issue relating to a property, it could negatively affect your business's ability to operate. Your alleged violations of zoning laws could also result in stiff fines.

Imagine you bought a property that you thought was zoned for commercial use. Perhaps it was an already-in-operation convenience store inside a neighborhood. You thought that the property was zoned appropriately, and the excellent location in the area ensured numerous customers. However, the city is now trying to shut down your store, saying that the property isn't zoned to be a store.

Will zoning regulations weed out medical marijuana dispensaries?

Florida counties and cities face difficult, interesting choices on medical marijuana. Early this summer, state legislators put in place regulations that give local officials a take-it-or-leave-it option regarding marijuana.

Cities and counties can either ban medical marijuana dispensaries or they can allow unlimited numbers of medical marijuana dispensaries. There appears to be no middle ground. This Hobson's choice has some officials pondering new zoning regulations for pharmacies; regulations that would restrict where dispensaries would be able to open their doors.

End of a dream: Florida developer shuts down project

When developers and city leaders convene a press conference to announce construction of a new project, it is done with big smiles and high hopes. We have seen many such announcements here in Cocoa that led to improvements in our city's economy, culture and livability.

Of course, we have also seen developments become mired in long-running disputes over zoning and land use that dragged on to the point that developers simply walked away from the proposed project. That appears to have been the case recently in a Florida city about four hours southwest of Brevard County.

The primary types of land use and zoning

Florida residents will want to check to see how a particular property is zoned before purchasing it. This is important because you'll want to make sure that you can use the property for its intended purposes.

Imagine you have a factory, and you buy a new property to house the factory. However, you later discover that the property is zoned for industrial use, and you can't use the property as you intended. If you already finalized the transaction and you now own the property, you could suffer huge financial losses as a result.

Are you worried about foreclosure? You still have options

There are a lot of reasons why people fall behind on their mortgages. Maybe you were in an accident that left you unable to work for a while. Perhaps you got diagnosed with a serious medical condition that required expensive treatment and kept you bedridden. You could have lost your job or had to accept a sudden pay decrease when your company restructured. Whatever the cause, after missing a few mortgage payments, your biggest investment is now in jeopardy.

For most Americans, a house is the most expensive thing they ever buy. Mortgage payments represent a substantial portion of their monthly income, and the equity in their home represents the largest investment of their lives. Even if you've been paying on time for 25 years, once foreclosure proceedings start, you could lose your home and all the money you invested in it, forever.

Swinging for the green in Florida business litigation

Brevard County is known, among other things, for its abundance of fine golf courses. Fans here look forward each year to the Masters, perhaps the sport's most prestigious tournament. The company that owns both the Augusta National Golf Club and the Masters tournament recently filed a lawsuit to stop a Florida memorabilia company from auctioning off one of the signature green jackets handed out to Masters winners.

The Masters argues that the green blazer and other auction items were never supposed to have been taken off of club property.

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