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Legal requirements can complicate zoning disputes

When it comes to real estate disputes, landlords, tenants and prospective buyers can find the process of seeking a resolution much more complicated than they expected. Florida laws regarding zoning, dispute resolution, leasing requirements and other common commercial real estate issues are quite complex and when a problem arises, it can be wise to have the support of an attorney.

For example, one man in Florida found himself in a difficult spot after his proposal to rezone land for use as a car wash was rejected. He has since requested that the dispute be resolved through mediation, but that may not be possible.

According to reports, the man had support from the zoning board, but was unable to secure approval from the City Council to rezone land for his proposed car wash. It was stated that the car wash would be incompatible with the other properties in the area and created "unfavorable sight lines."

After his proposal was rejected, the man stated that he felt the entire situation could be resolved through mediation. Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution that allows two parties to work together and with the help of a mediator to come to a compromise. 

However, even if mediation did have the potential to resolve the dispute, legal guidelines stood in the way. Evidently, the man failed to request mediation within 30 days of the council's decision, as is required by the law.

This case is just one example of how legal technicalities and requirements can affect how and if a dispute is resolved. Even if a solution seems agreeable, simple and straightforward, the fact is there are many legal specifications that must be considered and approved in order for a situation to proceed.

Rather than try to navigate the complex legal system alone, it can be crucial for any party dealing with real estate transactions or disputes to discuss the situation with an attorney familiar with commercial real estate policies and practices. Doing so sooner rather than later can be crucial as there may be a clock ticking on the options available.

Source:, "Owner wants mediation over rejected Bonita car wash," Bill Smith, Sept. 16, 2015

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