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Land Use Controls

Section 2

TermDefinition
Abatement To decrease, reduce or stop an activity. An abatement action would require removal of a nuisance (a smell or loud sound); or rent can be abated when a housing unit is uninhabitable.
Abstract of Judgment A general lien placed on a debtor's real and personal property until a judgment is paid in full to the plaintiff in the lawsuit.
Accretion The process of increasing land through deposits of mud or sand (alluvion) by the action of water .
Ad Valorem Property tax based on the assessed value of the property. (from Latin "according to value")
Adjudication A process in a court of law and the resultant determination by the court of a water right approving party's use of well water from aquifer and tributary waters.
Affirmative Easement The right to use property belonging to another for a specific reason.
Appurtenant Easement Attaches to (transfers with title) and benefits the adjacent land. Contrasts with an easement in gross which benefits an individual. Example: Land A receives a "right of way" to cross Land B in order to have access to a public road.
Assessed Value The value attached to a property a county assessor on which to base relative property tax computation.
Attachment A court holding of the defendant's property during a lawsuit to protect the plaintiff from the defendant selling the before the case is complete. The plaintiff should be bonded in case he or she loses in court.
Avulsion The loss of land when it is washed away by a sudden act of nature. Contrasted to erosion, the loss of land over a long period of time
Buffer Zone A strip of land separating two parcels that are zoned differently, such as undeveloped land separating a shopping center from a residential neighborhood.
Building Code Standard established by local or state government to protect the public by regulating building and construction methods, including plumbing, electrical and fire.
Bulk Zoning A method used to control density and overcrowding by restricting setbacks, building height, or ratio of open area.
Certificate of Occupancy Proof by the county that a structure has met building code requirement and may be occupied. Issued either when a building is new or when remodeling required a building permit.
Cluster Zoning An area where residential density is described overall but the developer is allowed flexibility in placing the residences in groups interspersed with open space.
Conditional Use Permit Special permission for a use to exist where the current zoning would not normally allow it. For example, it may allow a preschool in a residential neighborhood.
Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions (CC&R's) Private, voluntary rules (intended to be beneficial) used in homeowner associations and PUD's; also deed restrictions that control property use, architectural changes, landscaping, and whether or not animals are permitted, etc.
Doctrine of Prior Appropriation The right to divert the un-appropriated waters of any natural stream (surface or underground) to beneficial use shall never be denied. Priority is determined by time of claim and follows the order of domestic, agricultural, manufacturing and recreational.
Dominant Estate The parcel that receives the right (permission) from the servient estate to use the adjacent lands. Example: "Right-of-Way" for road access.
Downzoning Changing the zoning to a more restricted use, such as from multi-family to single family which will restrict the density.
Easement by Necessity An easement presumed by implication of law to be granted to the purchaser of land which is landlocked by seller's property.
Easement by Prescription One created by continuous, notorious and hostile use of the property for a statutory uninterrupted period of time.
Easement in Gross One belonging to the dominant estate personally, not because of land owner status. Example: A utility easement, giving Qwest the right to access your land [and remove obstructions] to maintain the phone lines.
Easements An easement gives one the right to enter and use another person's land within certain definable limits.
Encroachment Protrusion of an improvement on one property over or onto the adjacent property, such as a fence that extends over a property line.
Encumbrance A burden, voluntary or involuntary, that reduces a property's value or use. Encumbrances may affect title (lien, mortgage) or physical condition (easement, encroachment).
Environmental Impact Statement A statement required by The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 prior to development of a site that may have an affect or impact on the environment.
Equalization Factor A factor used by a county assessor in assessing property values in areas where assessments are not considered fair.
Flood plain Low area adjacent to waterways and subject to flooding if inundated.
General Lien A claim against all of a debtor's personal and real property filed in order to satisfy a debt.
Grandfather Clause Permission to continue doing something that was once permissible but is now not allowed. In zoning, it permits a nonconforming use. For example, an existing auto repair shop being allowed to remain in a shopping area that is being revitalized.
Groundwater Non-flowing water below the surface. (There are six major groundwater aquifers in Colorado)
Implied Easement Created by acts of the parties; one that is apparent and for which access is implied. Example: If one sells a stand of trees to be used for lumber, one also grants an implied easement to harvest the trees.
Inclusionary Zoning Specifies inclusions within a development, such as a playground or that a percentage of homes must be affordable for low-income families.
Involuntary Lien One not taken through consent of the owner, such as a tax lien. In reality, most liens are involuntary
Judgment A court-ordered claim by one person against another. A judgment lien is a general lien against a property in favor of the holder of the judgment.
Laches Legal doctrine that prevents seeking legal recourse because of a lapse of time (i.e. neighbor built a second story addition & roof exceeds the a height restriction. Waiting until the addition is done before seeking remedy in court is too late; a lache).
License a right of access that is temporary, personal and revocable; such as a license to use a campground or fish in the lake on the landowner's property. Contrasted with Easements which are a real property right, permanent and generally irrevocable.
Lien The right given by law to a creditor to have a debt or charge satisfied out of the property belonging to the debtor.
Lis Pendens Recorded constructive notice that legal action affecting a particular piece of property is pending. By filing a lis pendens a few days before expiration of their lien, a mechanic's lien claimant can keep the lien alive beyond six months.
Littoral Right Right to use and enjoy land bordering non-moving water, e.g. lake, pond or sea. Contrasted with riparian rights along running bodies of water (river or stream)
Master Plan A comprehensive growth plan that guides the long-term zoning, use, and development of a community.
Mechanic's Lien A statutory lien for the benefit of laborers and materialmen who have provided materials or labor in the construction or repair of a building.
Mill 1/10 of one cent. Used to compute property taxes once the mill rate is established.
Negative Easement Restricts a servient owner from something specific, usually a building restriction that might block a view or sunlight.
Nonconforming Use An existing use permitted to continue even though zoning has changed. The zoning clause that allows non-conforming use is a grandfather clause. (i.e. an old auto repair shop permitted to continue operating in a block now zoned for retail stores.)
Noncumulative Zoning Zoning that permits only one use with no exception.
Nuisance Interference with one's reasonable use or enjoyment through an invasion of excessive noise, odors, light, fire hazards or other trespass to the senses.
Police Power Government right to protect public health, safety, morals and welfare by stipulating ordinances for zoning and building codes.
Prescription Acquiring a right of access (usually an easement) by long uninterrupted use without the consent of the owner. Established in statute
Reliction An increase of land due to the gradual recession of water from its normal level.
Restrictive Covenants Rules or private agreements, usually stated in a deed or lease, that restrict things like lot size and architectural controls.
Riparian Right Right to use enjoy running water (e.g. streams, rivers) adjacent to and under one's land.
Servient Estate Land over which the dominant estate crosses in the use of its easement.
Special Assessment A charge by a local taxing authority collected to pay for common improvements such as sewer lines or sidewalks. Creates a priority lien on the affected property usually second only to ad valorem property tax.
Specific Liens A lien that attaches to a specific parcel of land--such as a property tax or mortgage lien.
Spot Zoning An isolated use of a small parcel or area, zoned inconsistently with a larger surrounding use.
Tacking On Occupying real property by related successors in interest, and adding their individual times in order to accumulate the total time prescribed in law to claim ownership by adverse possession.
Tax Liens When property taxes or special assessments remain unpaid, they become a specific lien against the property which takes priority over other liens.
Tax Sale The sale of real property to satisfy unpaid property tax liens.
Taxation The main source of revenue for cities and counties for things like schools and road maintenance.
Upzoning A change in zoning to a less restricted use such as from single family to multi-family use.
Variance A permanent exception granted to either build a new structure or conduct a new use that would not be permitted under the current zoning.
Vendee Lien A lien against the seller for default, intended to return to the purchaser all money paid.
Vendor Lien A lien against the purchaser for the full amount owed to the seller.
Voluntary Lien A lien against the property that the owner has knowledge of and has granted consent for, such as a mortgage.
Water Rights The legal right to the use of water of a natural stream or water furnished through a ditch or canal. (See Doctrine of Prior Appropriation, riparian rights, and littoral rights)
Well Permit Authorization to use well water for single family residences. The permit will state the amount and uses (no watering of garden etc.).
Writ of Attachment A court order, usually recorded, that creates a lien preventing property from being disposed of before the court enters a final judgment.
Writ of Execution A court order directing the sheriff to sell a defendant's real property to satisfy a judgment.
Zoning Laws Laws created by city and county governments to control the use of land. Zoning laws are enacted in the exercise of police powers.
Aesthetic Zoning Zoning that requires that new structures match an existing architectural style.
Incentive Zoning Provides an incentive to a developer to provide a specific unplanned feature as a tradeoff for being allowed something normally not permitted.
Cumulative Zoning Zoning that permits a less restricted use as well as the designated use. For example, single family homes may be built interspersed with multi-family use.
Subdivider One who partitions a large parcel of land for resale as individual lots.
Erosion A gradual loss of soil due to nature--winds, rainfall, currents, etc.
Enabling Acts State legislation establishing powers of a local county or municipality. Zoning powers are generally granted to local government pursuant to enabling acts.
Alluvion The mud or soil that is carried by a river or stream and adds to the volume of land over time in a process called accretion.
Attractive Nuisance An item or property which might attract the curious (children) to their detriment, e.g. a swimming pool, construction site, abandoned appliances, etc. Owners generally have direct liability for attractive nuisances that are not secured.
Density zoning ordinances restrict the average number of houses per acre that can be built within a particular subdivision.
Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act regulates interstate sale of unimproved lots as is designed to prevent fraudulent marketing schemes that may arise when land is sold without being seen by purchasers
Plat a detailed map that illustrates the geographic boundaries of individual lots
Taking The act of appropriating private land for public use upon payment of fair market value under a government's right of eminent domain and through the legal process called condemnation.
Mortgage lien a lien on the property of a mortgagor that secures the underlying debt obligation. It is a voluntary lien created by the property owner and is accorded priority by date of recording.
Redemption Period is a period of time established by law during which a property owner has the right to redeem real estate after a foreclosure or tax sale by paying the sales price, interest and costs
Statutory Lien is a lien created by statute without any action by the property owner. i.e. a real estate tax lien
Subordinate agreements written agreements between lien holders to change the priority of mortgage, judgment and other liens
Exclusionary zoning Any zoning ordinance which has a purpose/effect of achieving economic or racial segregation.
Wetland A wetland is an area of ground that is saturated with water either permanently or seasonally
Created by: tyhart44