Tips for Planning Land Use and Development

If you have purchased land for industrial, commercial, or residential purposes, you will first need to develop it. Planning land use and development will involve a vast array of steps and procedures, all of which will need to be followed exactly. Here, we’ll go through a few things to keep in mind when planning to develop and use land.

Determine the Purpose

The purpose of the land will largely determine what you’re allowed to do with it. Land developed for commercial use will have different restrictions from residential or mixed-use properties. These differences will help you avoid conflict with zoning laws and local associations while allowing you to get the most out of the property itself.

Know Zoning Laws

Location, location, and location-zoning laws are all about location. The area in which your plot of land is located will be a determining factor for what you’re allowed to do with it. For example, if you own a parcel of land near Chicago O’Hare International Airport, you will have limits on the maximum height of any structure or object on the property.

These laws are highly specific to the location since they are under the jurisdiction of the city and take into account the surrounding area. Thus, there will be specific rules for land near an airport that differ from those governing land in a suburban area nearby. Knowing these laws is key to planning what you’ll do with the land since it will prevent conflicts and the accompanying waste of resources down the road.


Land surveys are key to everything. The lay of the land will help you determine how to best use it. For example, if you own a particularly hilly parcel of land, your plans will have to account for the sizes and locations of the hills. If you need a spot on that land to be level, that will factor into the costs.

In addition to the topography of the land you’re looking to develop, you also need to factor in what may be under the surface as well. Gas, water, sewage, and electric lines will affect how deep you can go in certain spots, and their access points will inform construction and development plans.

Finally, a land survey will allow you to know precisely where the boundaries of your parcel are. This is absolutely crucial to preventing lawsuits and disputes since it allows you to keep within your set boundaries and prove that you have done so if conflicts should arise.

Get Your Permits

Before you start developing land, you will need to obtain the correct permits and entitlements. Without these, you’ll run into legal difficulties. In addition, you must make sure you go through the process correctly-any missing detail, and again, you’ll face trouble with the law. A real estate lawyer can help you navigate that process successfully.

Start Early

Ideally, your plans for land use and development should start even before you purchase them. Getting the proper surveys, easements, and permits you need early on will make the process go smoothly without avoidable conflicts. To learn more about the legal aspects of developing your commercial or residential land, contact Hart & David today.

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