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Can a business be a nuisance if it is properly zoned?

Zoning is the area of local law that establishes where certain types of businesses may be built and operated. For example, Floridians may visit commercially zoned areas of town when they wish to shop at the grocery store or fill their vehicles up with gas. When they leave, they may drive back to the residential zones where their homes are located.

Communities use zoning to keep similarly-operated buildings close to each other and to prevent nuisances from bothering others that operate with different schedules and needs. For example, if an all-night dance club opened in the middle of a quiet suburban neighborhood the individuals who lived in the area may find the noise and traffic brought to their streets to be disruptive and dangerous.

However, readers may be aware that many mixed-zoning areas exist that bring homes, stores and even agricultural sites together into the same zoning plots. It may be confusing, then, for a person to recognize if a business-neighbor is creating a nuisance in their residential-commercial zone by operating an open late restaurant that uses bright lights well past midnight.

It is important for individual nuisance cases to be assessed on their own facts. While many nuisances arise from entities that operate in the wrong zones, properly zones businesses and residential property owners may also create nuisances for those who live and work around them. An individual with a nuisance grievance against their neighbor may, if successful in their legal pursuit, be able to obtain an injunction against the offender to bring their disruptive practice to their end. Further information on this complex topic should be sought out from legal professionals who provide real estate support.

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