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Which governmental body approves zoning applications?

Cities, towns, and counties have legal authority to approve to zoning applications, but not all of these governmental bodies exercise this power.  Some towns leave zoning up to the county.  Some cities and town have zoning ordinances but contract w…
Categories: Legal Blog

Notice of Claim

When a city employee injures someone, the city must be notified.  Under state law, this notice must occur within six months after the injury, if the city is being asked to pay a claim.  Does this bar someone from bringing a lawsuit later? No.  The…
Categories: Legal Blog

Maximum Amount for Special Assessments

Who should pay for new sewers or for fixing the streets? Cities usually pay part of the bill with general tax dollars (that is, everyone pays for it), and requires the nearby property owners to pay the rest through “special assessments”. The maxi…
Categories: Legal Blog

Overcoming a Bad Settlement

Courts favor settlement. It reduces their case load, provides a means for resolving multiple issues in a case when only the legal issues can be resolved at trial, allows more creativity in solving problems, and can open the door to better subsequent…
Categories: Legal Blog

Landlocked Parcels

Most parcels of land lie next to a street.  Sometimes a property owner will split a parcel, creating an “interior” lot, without access to a street.  This interior lot, surrounded on all sides by other property, is considered “landlocked”. I…
Categories: Legal Blog


Different people call different parcels of land “outlots”.  County surveyors (and often courts) use “outlot” to describe large undivided parcels of land that could be divided into lots and blocks.  City planners call oddly-shaped parcels an…
Categories: Legal Blog

Zoning problems when running a business from home

Moving a small business home may be a good way to reduce overhead expenses. Most cities restrict homes to, well, use as homes, with narrow exceptions. Would your small business fit in the exceptions? Generally, if a city employee could not tell your…
Categories: Legal Blog

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