Our Law Practice Covering Real Estate Transactions, Disputes, Land Use And Zoning
The attorneys at Ashwell & Ashwell, PLLC, have the experience and the knowledge to help you navigate every aspect of virtually any Virginia commercial or residential real estate transaction. We will guide you through your purchase, sale or leasing agreements. We will help you navigate financing, development and construction of building projects to meet your needs. We have represented buyers, sellers, lenders, landlords and tenants.
Our 360-degree view offers insights into how your situation will be viewed by the other players involved in your transaction or dispute resolution. With this understanding, you can play your cards strategically.
About Your Attorney-Client Interactions Throughout The Real Estate Transaction Or Dispute Resolution Process
In a nutshell, your interactions with us may include the following phases as we pursue your objectives in residential or commercial real estate transactions or dispute resolution.
- Initial consultation: We’ll identify the merits and challenges of your property-related situation, outline steps toward fulfillment of your goals and go over a projected timeline as well as costs.
- Representation: The attorneys at Ashwell & Ashwell, PLLC will represent your interests, review documents, negotiate terms and win concessions in your purchases, sales and leases. If litigation becomes necessary, we will prepare the case – and you – so we can both walk into court, confident that we are ready to make the next moves.
- In court: Count on our absolute professionalism and proven performance. We realize that judges, arbitrators and juries tend to view aggressive attorneys negatively. For this reason, we will exercise the power of civility to win your real estate case greater credibility and, we believe, a better outcome.
We assist with real estate transactions and disputes including the following:
- Real estate settlements
- Condominium matters
- Property owners association concerns
- Judicial and nonjudicial foreclosures
- Short sales
- Sales of properties linked to estate plans
- Partition actions
- Landlord-tenant issues
- Adverse possession actions
- Boundary and easement disputes
- Zoning violations and appeals
- Escrow and earnest money disputes
- Realtor commission disputes
- Condemnation and eminent domain actions
- Trespass and nuisance claims
- Restrictive covenants
We review and prepare documents such as:
- Purchase and sale agreements
- Residential and commercial leases
- Title examinations, title defects, quiet title actions and title insurance policy review and analysis
- Special use permits
About Virginia’s Land Use And Zoning Laws
We cannot talk about real estate without considering the land that homes and commercial buildings stand on. Land use and zoning is an area of the law that affects us all, usually without even knowing it. The focus of land use law and its origins are well-settled, and Virginia case law outlines the purpose is “to promote the health, safety, morals, and general welfare of the community, to protect and conserve the value of buildings, and encourage the most appropriate use of the land.” See City of Richmond v. Board of Supervisors of Henrico County, 199 Va. 679, 686, 101 S.E.2d 641, 646 (1958).
See also Southern Railway Co. v. City of Richmond, 205 Va. 699, 707, 139 S.E.2d 82, 88 (1964) In the words of this case, “the purpose of zoning is in general two-fold: to preserve the existing character of an area by excluding prejudicial uses, and to provide for the development of the several areas in a manner consistent with the uses for which they are suited.”
Regulations, Restrictions And Purposes Of Zoning
In essence, land use and zoning laws regulate or restrict the use of real property throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia. By statute (§ 15.2-2200), the objectives of zoning include the following aims:
- Improve the public health, safety, convenience and welfare of its citizens.
- Plan for the future development of communities to the end that transportation systems be carefully planned.
- Develop new community centers with adequate highways, utilities, health, educational and recreational facilities.
- Recognize the need for mineral resources and the needs of agriculture, industry and business in future growth.
- Provide residential areas with healthy surroundings for family life.
- Preserve agricultural and forestal land.
- Assure that the growth of the community is consonant with the efficient and economical use of public funds.
When To Hire Legal Representation
Typically, individuals will interact with municipal or local staff to address land use and zoning concerns through applications, permits and other filings. Generally, in the event of contested land use matters, it is necessary to appear in front of a board or in some cases as a local Board of Supervisors. This can be a daunting task that some litigants are not equipped to handle, requiring counsel. An attorney’s counsel can be invaluable.
You may be the owner of residential property and are in need of applicable permitting to build an additional structure. Or, you may be a commercial property owner in need of rezoning to attract a new buyer of a parcel. In any such situation, the lawyers at Ashwell & Ashwell, PLLC, can help you navigate the system and identify the points of focus in order to ensure your success. As active members of the community, our attorneys can identify the strengths and weaknesses of any plans and assist you in resolving land use issues.