Every piece of property in the state of Oregon is zoned so it can be used for a specific purpose. When a person is interested in real estate that is not zoned for what he or she plans to do with it, the thought of letting the property go rather than fighting for it may be tempting. It is certainly the easier path; however, some things are worth fighting for. There are a few ways in which one might be able to get the zoning changed so that it does work for one’s needs; it just takes time, effort and, possibly, litigation.

The three traditional paths to seeking a zoning modification are: filing for a variance, filing for conditional use and filing for complete re-zoning. The first two options would be for individuals who are interested in asking for permission to use the land how they want without changing the official zoning status. A re-zoning request would be for anyone who wants to use the entire property for a specific purpose that is not currently allowed and to have the zoning status changed completely.

All three of these options typically require filing an application, paying the necessary fee and obtaining certain signatures. Once all that is taken care of, a zoning hearing will be scheduled. At this hearing, it is possible to submit one’s plans for the property to the zoning board. Members of the public will be allowed to express any concerns, and then the board will make its decision.

If a zoning request fails to achieve approval, the decision may be appealed. This is something that must be done in a specific time frame. Legal counsel can give specifics on how to appeal and when such a request needs to be filed. If the appeals process proves ineffective, this is when civil actions may be necessary to tackle the situation.

When zoning does not work in one’s favor, legal counsel can make tackling the matter so much easier than if one tried to do it alone. An experienced real estate attorney will know which applications to file, have the ability to draw up plans and present one’s proposal at the zoning hearing. If alternative dispute resolution methods or litigation in an Oregon civil court prove necessary, legal counsel will fight to achieve the best outcome possible for the client.