What is a Land Entitlement? Part 1 of 2

Posted by admin on April 11, 2013

Land entitlements are the backbone of all land development. From a legal standpoint, it is the process of acquiring approval for the rights to develop property for specific uses. Land entitlements dictate the permitted buildings that can be constructed and also determine the land’s value. It’s a complicated, lengthy, and sometimes expensive part of  the land sales process, but a land entitlement is essential in establishing your project’s achievability.

Examples of Entitlement:

  • Zoning and zoning variances. These generally apply to building heights, amount of parking spaces, and setbacks. It’s best to rely on the expertise of a land use attorney and/or zoning expert as they are well-versed in avoiding delays throughout this aspect of selling land.
  • Re-zoning. You may need to re-zone property if its current and future uses don’t align. It’s a complicated- and sometimes impossible- feature of land sales and entitlement.
  • Permits. This goes along with zoning and zoning variances. Here, you may need to obtain conditional use permits to acquire entitlement.
  • Road approvals. Determine if roads are needed, who will maintain them, and if there are existing shared roads. Be prepared to comply with municipal regulations pertaining to land sales and road construction.
  • Utility approvals. On any commercial land for sale, the acquisition of utilities for your site requires compliance with municipal regulations and standards.
  • Landscaping approvals. Designs must be approved by the city planning and development agencies. Your architects and engineers can help.

Hire an Experienced Development Team:

It’s advisable to hire a professional team of architects, developers, lawyers, project consultants, civil, soil, landscape and structural engineers and consultants at the onset of the land sales and land entitlement process. These development experts can help analyze and interpret details, and can advise you on a wide variety of complex issues related to vacant land for sale. Since the regulatory process is so complicated, an experienced team assures no time is wasted regarding design studies, zoning and code requirements, and maximum development potential of the property.

Acquiring a land entitlement is a slow and often frustrating operation, and can take months or even years depending on the project’s complexity and the city planner’s interpretation of local land sales development regulations. Since the development of your property rests on approvals, it is essential for you and your team to establish good relationships with planners in county, city, and state jurisdictions. Your team of experts in developing and selling land will be able to negotiate issues and eliminate additional requests thereby reducing delays in receiving your approvals.

Return to our blog in one week for Part 2 of our series on land entitlements where we will discuss the regulatory process in detail. If you’re interested in purchasing land, AllAcres.com is an excellent resource for information on land development, commercial land for sale, properties in your area, and vacant land for sale. To find out more, call us at 855-227-3741 or contact us online.