jacob429

Legal & Zoning question

5 posts in this topic

Hey guys, I live in SC and I'm considering buying a piece of undeveloped land out in the country for the sole purpose of riding. This land would be zoned residential and maybe in Bowman or Orangeburg county. The lot would be 1-2 acres near farms and sparse communities. The type of riding would be trials and endurocross, so I would truck in obstacles such as tractor tires. The use would probably be limited to weekends.

 

Would there be any legal issues for this purpose? Specifically I'm eyeing a lot that would have one or two homes in line of sight, at least 75 yards away from riding area, so with only 2-strokes 99% of the time so they shouldn't hear much indoors if anything at all (my roommates tell me it's similar to a weed eater when I'm right outside in my back yard 20ft away).

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The local authorities would be the ones to ask as they will be the ones shutting down your project if not legal / complaints.

 

Your personal / home insurance person as well,

they'll likely require fencing all the way around and an extra premium for liability.

 

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36 minutes ago, mlatour said:

The local authorities would be the ones to ask as they will be the ones shutting down your project if not legal / complaints.

 

Your personal / home insurance person as well,

they'll likely require fencing all the way around and an extra premium for liability.

 

So I wouldn't think I would have to buy insurance on undeveloped land.. 

Can local authorities legally shut it down due to complaints even if everything is within the boundaries of local laws and ordinance? Maybe I better contact a real estate attorney about it. 

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40 minutes ago, jacob429 said:

So I wouldn't think I would have to buy insurance on undeveloped land.. 

If something happens on that property, i.e., some kid gets hurt riding there when you aren't around, you will get sued. Regardless of the merits of the case, you will need to defend yourself in court. How much can you afford in attorney fees?

41 minutes ago, jacob429 said:

Can local authorities legally shut it down due to complaints even if everything is within the boundaries of local laws and ordinance? Maybe I better contact a real estate attorney about it. 

Yes.

I would. (the county I reside in prohibits modifying residential property for what you propose and we have sound limits that are measured at the property line(s).

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I live in an area nearly 12 miles north of the closest incorporated town consisting mostly of farms with a few clusters of residential subdivisions. A few years ago the county enacted a general sound ordinance to regulate motorcycle / ATV use.  Since then nearly every county in the state of Maryland has enacted a similar law.  Everyone even in farm country must now have written permission if you can be heard.  During the day the maximum sound limit is 65db and at night 55db from a distance of 300 feet from property lines (so basically you can't  ride within 300 feet of your neighbor's property without written permission).  They have essentially killed motorcycle and ATV use in most areas of Maryland. 

Check with your local zoning office.  Your property zoning may contain language about maximum sound limits even if there are no county specific ordinances.  In some areas a HOA may even exist or there may be specific language in your deed restricting how your propery can be used.  If your property is zoned residential your neighbors may be able to find an attorney to articulate that you are using it for recreation use which is in violation of zoning.  

 

RP

 

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