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The government’s aim is to protect and address all the needs of itscitizens. One of the ways it achieves this objective is byformulating laws that promote law and order in the society andguarantees them of their safety. Such laws include the governmentalrestrictions on ownership that are implemented at all levels of thegovernment that are the federal, state, county, and municipaladministrations. The imposed regulations are taken seriously to anextent that violators are fined, given penalties and injunctions andin other circumstances they are prosecuted for committing a criminaloffense. The paper seeks to discuss governmental restrictions onownership of real property.
One of the government restrictions on ownership is zoning. It entailsputting limits on the extent to which a property owner uses his/herproperty. The prohibitions provide on the size of the buildings andheight that may be enacted, the inclusion of public amenities, andthe ratio of the floor area. According to the Standard State ZoningEnabling Act (SZEA) and the Standard City Planning Enabling Act(SCPEA), it is essential for the government to take control of realand private property. It allows them to monitor and take necessaryactions of the developments that are occurring in the society (Rozza,et al., 27). For instance, in the case of Lindsey Creek, andVictoria Corporation v. Atlanta Merchandise Mart, Inc., 249Ga. 488 (1982) 291 S.E.2d 61 the neighbors claimed that therezoned land would subject them to increased traffic, expose them todangers of flooding, reduce the value of homes in the area, and causeany other general nuisance (Rozza, et al., 27). However, theSupreme Court denied the neighbors relief on the basis that theincreased traffic was a condition that arose from urban development.Hence, citizens cannot argue that they are suffering from the damagesbecause it would be slowing the growth and development of the region.The council also denied the appeal on the basis that the neighborsfailed to provide sufficient proof of the grievances that requiredthem to challenge the rezoning.
The state has also put restrictions on ownership by developingstatutes that indicate the type of materials that should be stored ona real property depending on the ability of the materials to causeenvironmental hazards. The environmental regulations are aimed atpromoting environmental sustainability for the public good. Thefederal and state governments have designed laws that find realproperty owners liable if they fail to uphold the environmentalregulations as outlined in the Federal Comprehensive EnvironmentalResponse, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) of 1980 (Falk,Tarantino & Imwalle, 1). CERCLA has developed different laws thatgovern the behavior of the owner of the land regarding the activitiesthey undertake, and about the influence, they have on theenvironment. For example, in the case of United States v. MonsantoCo., 858 F.2d 160, 172-73 (4th Cir. 1988), the defendants had leasedtheir property to a chemical company in Columbia on a month-to-monthbasis, where they were to store raw materials and finished productsin the warehouse (Falk, Tarantino & Imwalle, 3). However, thechemical company expanded its operations to include brokering andrecycling of chemical waste materials that were generated by thirdparties. The company incorporated South Carolina Recycling andDisposal Inc to handle their waste business, and the landowners beganaccepting lease payments from SCRDI as well. According to section107(a) of the CERCLA, the court decided that the site owners and thetwo companies were liable to the Federal Americana government and theState of South Carolina for conducting activities on their land thatwere hazardous to the environment (Falk, Tarantino & Imwalle,2008, 3). The Environmental Protection Agency argued that the highamount of chemical waste stored in the property contributed to theBluff Road Site, which was contrary to the environmental regulationsset.
Public easements and right of way is also another form ofgovernmental restrictions on ownership. The state argues that realproperty owners must provide a portion of their land to regulateaccess to other resources by building roads (Updike & Mick, 293).The owners also need to allow the installation of systems such aselectric wires, telephone lines, sewer systems to facilitate theaccess to the services. The government achieves this througheasements and implementing Lawson the right of way. According to theEasement Act, easements can be created through an express or impliedmeans, by estoppels or prescription. For instance, in the case ofNelson V Davis, 001711, SCV, the Nelson family had been using agravel road that Davis argued was part of his land and the Nelson’sshould desist from using it (Updike & Mick, 294). During thecourt proceedings, the Nelsons presented adequate that indicated theunmolested use of the road. Hence, the court argued that Davis hadallowed the Nelsons to access their property by the expression, andthus, it provided relief to the Nelsons that they have a right of waysince they had used it for a continuous period and there was noalternative route. Therefore, the government exercised itsrestrictions on ownership by developing public easements and right ofway laws that allow access to other lands in a region.
In summary, the governmental restrictions on ownership includezoning, environmental regulations, and easements. It is evident thatthe rules on zoning, the environment, and easements are not aimed atundermining the rights of the property owners, but to safeguard thepublic from any form of danger and ensure they have access to publicamenities.
Falk, Robert. L., Tarantino, William, F., & Imwalle, Miles. H.,(2008). Environmental Due Diligence in Real Property Transactions,The Environmental Counselor. (234), pp, 1-16. Retrieved fromhttp://media.mofo.com/docs/pdf/EnvironmentalCounselor0108.pdfAccessed on 3/5/2016
Rozza, Dave, et al. "Zoning Nightmare: Hartford`s ScarboroughStreet House." Communities 168 (2015): 26-28.
Updike, Bradford, and Bryan Mick. "Conservation Easements: TheFederal Tax Rules And Special Considerations Applicable To SyndicatedTransactions." Creighton Law Review 49.2 (2016): 293-352