Is it worth it to fight my neighbor’s zoning project?

Most people do not inherently oppose development, but some factors make potential zoning changes or developments unpalatable. Consider topics like traffic, density, and government resources.

Developers call 1818 when they want to build excessively tall buildings that surpass the surrounding structures in your neighborhood. Or, a developer may wish to construct a structure that will significantly increase the area’s noise and traffic. Too often, neighbors complain to one another instead of taking action against the harm that zoning developments cause in their communities. If you truly want to seek changes to a design or stop a zoning change that negatively impacts your neighborhood, hire a lobbyist, a lawyer, a community organizer, and a communications specialist to represent your needs. Alternatively, you could employ an 1818 attorney, who possesses all these skills.

You may wonder: “When is it worth fighting a zoning project? How can I best advocate for my position and property?” If, after reading this article, you have more questions about how to fight a zoning project threatening your community, contact 1818 to learn how our firm can help you!

How Can I Fight a Zoning Project that Threatens the Integrity of My Community?

You might not see yourself as a “political” person or someone who gets involved in community organizing. Yet, if someone came into your house and started moving the furniture or muddying up your floors, you would certainly do something about it. It is your house, after all.

The same is true for your neighborhood. Suppose a neighbor or developer wants to build a structure you oppose for many reasons, including density, traffic, and environmental issues. In that case, there are avenues available to fight its construction. Your city, town, or village has legal requirements that allow citizens to challenge the reasonableness of a proposed zoning change. When your property’s value and neighborhood charm are at stake, make your voice heard.

How Do I Organize Against a Zoning Project in a Way that Ensures My Voice Will Be Heard?

Do you have the courage to get involved in pushing back against a proposed zoning change? Often, courage comes easier with support from your neighbors and a lawyer. If a proposed project bothers you, other residents in your neighborhood are likely just as worried about their property value or the neighborhood’s integrity. While there are many things to consider when organizing your neighborhood to shape a development, here are three main points to keep in mind:

  • Get Involved Early. When any zoning change is requested, the party submitting the request must comply with specific requirements regarding deadlines and times at which the zoning board may make decisions. By getting involved early in the process, you will maximize your time to meet with elected officials, help shape the debate, and potentially alter or stop the development.
  • Watch for Plan Changes. A developer’s zoning request may morph over time. Monitor the process to ensure you know the developer has submitted the most recent request to the zoning board.
  • Organize and Maintain Interest. Get lots of neighbors involved in providing feedback. Ensure your efforts do not turn into a mere ‘flash in the pan.’ Maintain a steady and vocal opposition, as the zoning process can be lengthy.

How Can an Attorney Help Me Fight a Zoning Change?

Don’t be afraid to “Call in the Cavalry” and seek support from a professional.

Unless you are a lawyer specializing in administrative law or a lobbyist with experience in zoning and licensing issues, challenging a proposed zoning change can be daunting and confusing. If you are at odds with a zealous developer or neighbor, seek assistance from an experienced lawyer and lobbyist who will fight on your behalf.

Why have a seasoned zoning lawyer in your corner? Because the developer will have one. Developers spend tens of thousands of dollars on lawyers, lobbyists, and public relations firms to push for the zoning changes needed for their development. To effectively push back, you’ll likely need professional support.

To learn more about what the proper representation can do for you and your neighborhood, call us today at (312) 584-5444 or fill out our online contact form.  Let 1818’s team of experienced attorneys fight for your right to preserve your community’s integrity.

Jordan Matyas

Jordan Matyas

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Jordan Matyas is a lawyer, lobbyist, and Founder of 1818 Legal, an Illinois professional licensing defense law firm he created in 2014. With more than 18 years of experience practicing law, he represents clients in a wide range of legal matters, including professional license defense, administrative law, land use and zoning, and state, local, and municipal law.

Jordan received his Juris Doctor from the University of Illinois — Chicago School of Law and is a member of the Illinois Bar Association.