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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.

On its website, Brevard County says that you must submit a zoning change application in person at the county's Planning & Zoning Office. While the county notes that you are not required to have an attorney to apply for a zoning action, it cautions that mandated public hearings are quasi-judicial proceedings and that "the Board of County Commissioners’ decision is based upon substantial competent evidence from professionally qualified witnesses (such as engineers, land planners, surveyors, etc.) presented at the hearings."

The law does not require you to have a real estate lawyer, but in many cases applicants who need a positive outcome understand the value of having someone on their side who understands the evaluation and approval process, as well as zoning and land use.

The county has a list of bullet points about the zoning change process that begins with this somewhat ominous warning: "Note: An error in the legal description will result in your request being delayed at your expense." If that sounds like a mistake could get expensive and time-consuming, you have heard correctly.

Homeowners, business owners, developers, contractors and others interested in zoning change applications can contact an experienced Brevard County real estate law attorney.

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