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What to Look for When Choosing a Development Block

1993, Tallahassee, Florida, USA --- Florida State Capitol Building --- Image by © Joseph Sohm; Visions of America/CORBIS

There is a lot to consider when working with Economic Development in Florida or any other location. As the name indicates, development blocks are areas where you plan to develop an urban community. This could include housing, business or community buildings or a combination of the three.

When choosing a development block, you must consider factors like the location and size of the area, as well as the existing structures that could hinder the progress. Let’s dig deeper and examine site feature details that could affect the search for a development block.

Land Quality

The first component to block development is surveying the land. Is the size big enough to fit all the necessary structures? Are there any restrictions or easements that may affect the useable space? The shape is important too. The unrestricted land could have an unusual formation that also affects the efficiency of land use. In addition, be aware of the slope of the site. The slope can cause design issues and structural reworking. The added cost of engineering and leveling the site can become excessive.

Existing Regulations

As mentioned before, the plot could have restrictions based on council regulations and other neighborhood aspects. Councils have to implement zoning rules so the land development is controlled. The rules outline what developers can and cannot add to the land. Road zones are regulations regarding the effects the site has on the nearby roads. Outlined below are rules concerning other surrounding entities.

Another restriction is a single dwelling covenant. This means that the land can only have one structure or dwelling built. It is possible to get around the covenant, but legal proceedings might be part of the process. Easements are a similar type of document that can impede the development progress. It gives someone the right to use another person’s land. A permit is required to get around the easement.

Nature has its input too. Areas that can easily flood need extra planning in the design phase. Look to a flood map if the site is in a flood zone. In the end, the neighborhood could decide to cease the build because it does not fit into the existing plan. Usually, the new development needs to have a similar building style, plant life, and aesthetic to the structures that are already there.

Neighboring Structures

Did you know trees can be a big hindrance to finding a development block? Existing trees on or near the site can determine where the building will have to be located. There are rules and regulations that protect trees and restrict construction from removing or hindering them in any way. You will likely need approval from the city council or another governing body before removing or trimming trees.

A commonly overlooked detail of a site search is neighboring windows. There are several regulations about the location of the windows. A window from a livable area has rules about looking into other windows and concealing light. Privacy is the main concern, but the window also needs enough natural light. All these aspects influence where the building’s walls and windows can be located.

Use existing driveways to your advantage. If the width and location are compatible with your design, try to utilize them. Costs and time are associated with creating a new driveway, so avoid it if possible.

Follow these guidelines when searching for a development block. While your hunt may not be trouble-free, a little knowledge and foresight will save you the possibility of hitting roadblocks later on. Remember, if legal proceedings are a requirement; do not hesitate to confer with a lawyer. Most lawyers can get the difficulties smoothed out so you can get back to developing your block in no time.

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