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Government Rights in Land is Police Power.

Zoning and Master Plans

Enabling acts are given to municipal governments to do their own zoning.

Enabling Acts or Rights.

Enabling acts are given to municipal governments to do their own zoning.

Zoning implements the city’s master plan.

Zoning

Master Plan

The general or master plan of a locality will provide the purpose for the zoning and land use ordinances the locality employs. Generally, a zoning ordinance must conform to the general plan of the locality

A comprehensive growth plan that guides the long-term zoning, use, and development of a community.

Zoning and Land Use Laws

Zoning ordinances are regulations for land use within cities and counties. Zoning categorizes and separates different land uses into districts within a city and county. Land use laws and regulations govern the way that land can be used in any given area. These laws are usually maintained by local governments and by municipal codes. Local governments typically provide separate districts for residential, business, and industrial uses.

  • Laws were created by city and county governments to control the use of land. Zoning laws are enacted in the exercise of police powers.
  • Zoning is a local government’s attempt at creating uniform neighborhoods and land uses in certain areas by controlling how you can use your property and what you can build on your property.
  • Zoning categorizes and separates differing land uses into distinct districts within a municipality.
  • Typically, a local government will provide separate districts for residential, business, and industrial uses.
  • Zoning includes various laws falling under the police power.
  • Zoning divides land into zones (e.g., residential, industrial) in which specific land uses are permitted or prohibited.
  • The type of zone determines whether planning /permission for a given development is granted.
  • Zoning may specify a variety of outright and conditional uses of land. It may also indicate the size and dimensions of the land area and the form and scale of buildings. These guidelines are set to guide urban growth and development.
  • Cities and local municipalities are allowed to decide  zoning through State.

Zoning changes require a public hearing first.

Zoning Ordinance Defines how property in specific geographic zones can be used. It regulates lot sizes, density, height structures, and purpose. 

Planning/Zoning Department

Provides the municipality with the goals and objectives for its future development.

Most municipalities have a specific Planning or Zoning Department that will propose zoning ordinances and oversee zoning and land use hearings.

These departments will also make decisions regarding variances (see below), conditional use permits, and other issues that may implicate a zoning or land use ordinance. Generally, the department will have a public hearing (the first step to zoning or making a change in zoning) where the individual or group whose land is affected will present their case. The hearing also allows for public comment on the matter.

The general plan usually provides different possibilities for those whose land use may not comply with the zoning ordinance for their district:

Definitions

Variance 

If your land use or proposed building does not entirely conform to existing zoning and land use laws, you can apply for a variance. Typically, the landowner must show that she will experience substantial financial hardship if she does not receive a variance.

  • A request for a deviation from the Zoning Code. An example would be a homeowner allowed to build a fence closer to a lot line than the zoning allows.
  • A permanent exception granted to either build a new structure or conduct a further use that would not be permitted under the current zoning.
  • Most zoning systems have a procedure for granting variances (exceptions to the zoning rules), usually because of some perceived hardship due to the property’s particular nature in question.

Non-Conforming Use

Generally, new zoning laws cannot force an existing structure or use to change. Thus, a building or use that exists before a zoning ordinance is passed cannot be illegal and does not need to be changed. The zoning department considers this a nonconforming use.

  • A nonconforming use is a use of the property allowed under the zoning regulations when the use was established but which, due to local laws changes, is no longer a permitted use.
  • Local governments and the courts are reluctant to order an owner to discontinue an activity immediately or demolish a lawful building until the enactment of the ordinance that made the use illegal. Therefore, the use is usually permitted and is recognized as a nonconforming use.

Conditional Use Permit

Special permission for a use to exist where the current zoning would not usually allow it. For example, it may allow a preschool in a residential neighborhood.

A zoning exception allows the property owner use of his land in a way not otherwise permitted within the particular zoning district. For instance, a medical clinic was granted a zoning variance to build a neighborhood zoned for residential properties.

Legal nonconforming use

A legal nonconforming use or structure is a use or structure that was legally built under previous regulations but did not meet existing standards. 

Grandfather Clause

A phrase indicating 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 permitted to remain in a shopping area that is being revitalized.

Most Common Uses Found in Zoning Ordinances

Spot Zoning

Isolated use of a small parcel or area, zoned inconsistently with a more extensive surrounding use.

Density zoning

Ordinances restrict the average number of houses per acre that can be built within a particular subdivision.

 Downzoning

Changing the zoning to more restricted use, such as from multi-family to a single-family which will restrict the density

Rezoning of an area that would be less dense in population. An example would be a neighborhood that downzoned from multi-unit residential zoning to single-family residences only.

The multi-unit residential properties are grandfathered in, meaning that the new zoning does not apply to them. Usually, if the building burns down or gets destroyed, the new zoning would apply to the new construction.

When a commercial property is in a neighborhood that gets down zoned, the property gets grandfathered in and is of a non-conforming use. If the property burns down or gets destroyed, it cannot be built back without getting a conditional use permit.

Upzoning

A change in zoning to less restricted use, such as from single-family to multi-family use.

Upzoning refers to the process of increasing the zoning density in a particular municipality or neighborhood. Typically, this involves increasing (up) zoning on single residential lots to allow for multifamily units such as duplexes and triplexes.

Buffer Zone

A strip of land separating two parcels zoned differently, such as undeveloped land separating a shopping center from a residential neighborhood.

For use in nature conservation, a buffer zone is often created to protect areas under management for their biodiversity importance.

A protected area’s buffer zone may be situated around the periphery of the region or a connecting zone within it that links two or more distinct areas.

Use Zoning/Districts

These dictate the type of use permitted within the zone. These consist of residential, commercial, industrial, and agricultural.

Height Districts 

Building heights are a type of land use regulation. These regulations restrict the size of buildings within any given area.

Setback

The distance which a building or other structure is set back from a street or road, a river, stream, a shore or flood plain, or any other place which is deemed to need protection.

Setbacks are generally set in municipal ordinances or zoning.

Setback limits are the difference between the lot line and the improvements.

 

When you want to extend your patio, check setback limits first.

Bulk Zoning

A method used to control density and overcrowding by restricting setbacks, building height, or open area ratio.

Bulk Zoning – regulations restrict the density in a given area. Bulk Zoning includes open space requirements, floor area ratios, and setback requirements.

Aesthetic Zoning

Zoning requires that new structures match an existing architectural style.

Incentive Zoning

Provides an incentive to a developer to offer a specific unplanned feature as a tradeoff for being allowed something usually not permitted.

Mississippi Opportunity Zones

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.

Conservation Zoning

Open zoning where the intent is to keep the parcel in its natural or agricultural state.

Conservation Easement

An area where development would not be permitted to leave the natural habitat untouched.

Noncumulative Zoning

Zoning permits only one use with no exception.

Holding Zones 

To restrict development in certain areas before there has been an opportunity to zone or plan it, the planning department within a municipality may temporarily zone the land for low intensity uses.

Regulation of Environmental Hazards

Inclusionary Zoning

Specifies inclusions within a development, such as a playground or that a percentage of homes must be affordable for low-income families.

Exclusionary zoning

Exclusionary zoning is any zoning ordinance with a purpose, effect, or result of achieving a form of economic or racial segregation. An exclusionary zoning ordinance can cause economic segregation by restricting land usage to high-cost, low population density residential development. These restrictions can effectively prevent low to moderate-income families and individuals from moving into an area. In turn, minority groups with low-income levels may also be excluded from living in certain regions.

Regulation of special land types

Flood zones

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) 

  • The program enables property owners in participating communities to purchase insurance protection, administered by the government, against losses from flooding, and requires flood insurance for all loans or lines of credit that are secured by existing buildings, manufactured homes, or buildings under construction, that are located in a community that participates in the NFIP.
  • This insurance is designed to provide an insurance alternative to disaster assistance to meet the escalating costs of repairing damage to buildings and their contents caused by floods.

Wetlands

those areas where water is at, near or above the land surface long enough to be capable of supporting aquatic or hydrophytic vegetation, and which have soils indicative of wet (hydrid) conditions.

Flood insurance is required when a property is in an SFHA.  Special Flood Hazard Area.  (FEMA flood area)

EPA

The EPA regulates the production and distribution of commercial and industrial chemicals to ensure that chemicals made available for sale and use in the United States do not harm human health or the environment.

Hazardous waste that is improperly managed poses a severe threat to human health and the environment.

The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), passed in 1976, was established to set up a framework for properly managing hazardous waste.

The Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976

Provides EPA with authority to require reporting, record-keeping, and testing requirements and restrictions relating to chemical substances and mixtures.

Certain substances are generally excluded from TSCA, including, among others, food, drugs, cosmetics, and pesticides.

TSCA addresses the production, importation, use, and disposal of specific chemicals, including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), asbestos, radon, and lead-based paint.

CERCLA – The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (1980)

The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), also known as Superfund, authorizes the President to respond to releases or threatened releases of hazardous substances into the environment. CERCLA authorities complement those of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, which primarily regulates ongoing hazardous waste handling and disposal.

  • Administered and enforced by the EPA.
  • Established a Superfund to clean up uncontrolled hazardous waste sites
  • Identifies potentially responsible parties(PRPs)
  • established liability as follows:
    • Strict liability where the landowner has no defense to the responsibility for cleanup
    • Joint and several liabilities in which each of several landowners are responsible for the entire cleanup
    • Retroactive liability where the present owner and previous owners are responsible
  • The law authorizes two kinds of response actions:

Short-term removals, where actions may be taken to address releases or threatened releases requiring prompt response.

Long-term remedial response actions permanently reduce the dangers of releases or threats of releases of hazardous substances that are serious but not immediately life-threatening.

These actions can be conducted only at sites listed on EPA’s National Priorities List (NPL).

CERCLA Steps

The following sequence of events generally applies to all sites, both privately and Federally-owned or operated: 
  • Preliminary assessment
  • Site investigation 
  • Listing on the National Priorities List (NPL) 
  • Remedial investigation 
  • Feasibility study 
  • Record of decision 
  • Remedial design 
  • Remedial action 
  • Long-term operation 
  • Maintenance

Potentially responsible party (PRP)

Potentially responsible party (PRP) means a person who is or may be liable for remediation under any state or federal law, regulation, or program.

The company who polluted is held responsible plus the person in the company that made the decision to do can be held liable also.

Joint and Severable Liability is when a single person and a group is held liable for damages.

Retroactive Liability is liability extending back to the previous owners of a parcel of land.

  1. Strict Liability is when the owner of a polluted property is responsible for the cleanup Without Excuse.  CERCLA
  1. SARA expanded the innocent landowner immunity.  It also increased the Superfund money.

The CERCLA law has subsequently been amended by the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986 (SARA) and the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act of 2002.

SARA – Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986

The Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act amended the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA) on October 17, 1986. The Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986 (SARA) reflected EPA’s experience in administering the complex Superfund program during its first six years and made several important changes and additions to the program. SARA:

  • stressed the importance of permanent remedies and innovative treatment technologies in cleaning up hazardous waste sites;
  • required Superfund actions to consider the standards and requirements found in other State and Federal environmental laws and regulations;
  • provided new enforcement authorities and settlement tools;
  • increased State involvement in every phase of the Superfund program;
  • increased the focus on human health problems posed by hazardous waste sites;
  • encouraged greater citizen participation in making decisions on how sites should be cleaned up; and
  • increased the size of the trust fund to $8.5 billion.

SARA also required EPA to revise the Hazard Ranking System to ensure that it accurately assessed the relative degree of risk to human health and the environment posed by uncontrolled hazardous waste sites that may be placed on the National Priorities List (NPL).

 
 

For the Curious

 
 

Brownfields Revitalization and Environmental Restoration Act – 2001 and 2002

  • Helps rejuvenate deserted, defunct, and derelict toxic industrial waste sites.
  • A former industrial or commercial site where future use is affected by real or perceived environmental contamination.
  • Restrictions on Sale or Development of Contaminated Property

Definition of a Brownfield Site

  • Real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant.
  • Cleaning up and reinvesting in these properties protects the environment, reduces blight, and takes development pressures off greenspaces and working lands.
  • It is estimated that there are more than 450,000 brownfields in the U.S.
  • Cleaning up and reinvesting in these properties increases local tax bases, facilitates job growth, utilizes existing infrastructure, takes development pressures off of undeveloped, open land, and improves and protects the environment.

Brownfields Legislation helps revitalize deserted, defunct, and polluted areas of contamination

Land Revitalization

Land revitalization puts previously contaminated properties back into productive use. Reusing cleaned-up sites protects public health and the environment by preventing sprawl, preserving green space, and reinvigorating communities. EPA’s Land Revitalization Program ensures that reuse considerations are integrated into all of EPA’s cleanup decisions, including cleanups affecting brownfields, underground storage tanks, and Superfund redevelopment.

Land Revitalization Programs at EPA:

Brownfields Program 

is designed to empower communities to work together to clean up and sustainably reuse Brownfields areas.

Brownfield Property

Brownfield Property means any property where use is limited by actual or potential environmental contamination, or the perception of environmental contamination, and that is or may be subject to remediation under any state environmental law, regulation or program or under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980.

Superfund Redevelopment 

ensures that every Superfund site has the tools necessary to return the country’s most hazardous sites to productive use.

Underground Storage Tanks

supports the cleanup and reuse of abandoned properties contaminated with petroleum from underground storage tanks.

Cleanups at Federal Facilities

works with other federal entities to facilitate faster, more effective, and less costly cleanup and reuse of federal facilities.

Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Brownfields 

helps facilities in need of corrective action to locate reuse opportunities.

Mothballed brownfields 

are properties that the owners are not willing to transfer or put to productive reuse.

Hazardous waste 

defined as any waste or combination of waste which because of its quantity, quality, concentration, physical, chemical, or infectious characteristics could cause or significantly contribute to adverse effects in the health and safety of humans or the environment if improperly managed. 

Environmental contamination

Environmental contamination means the presence of hazardous substances or constituents that pose unacceptable risks to the environment, humans, or ecological receptors.

Disclosure of environmental hazards

State laws cover the disclosure of known material facts regarding property condition.

Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)

The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 

  • Under the United States, environmental law is a document required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) for specific actions “significantly affecting the environment’s quality.”
  • An EIS is a tool for decision making. It describes the positive and negative environmental effects of a proposed action. It usually lists one or more alternative steps that may be chosen instead of the action described in the EIS. 

Types of Hazards

Lead Poisoning is a potential cause of mental retardation in children.

Lead-Based Paint Disclosure Act is a federal law that gives the buyer ten days after an accepted offer to inspect a home built before 1978.

Lead

  • Lead can be found in pipes, pipe solder, paints, air, and
  • Lead-based paint is found in many of the housing units built before 1978.
  • Lead accumulates in the body and can damage the brain, nervous system, kidneys, and blood.
  • The Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992 requires disclosure of known lead-based paint hazards to potential buyers or renters.
  • Real estate licensees provide buyers and lessees with “Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home,” a pamphlet created by EPA, HUD, and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety.
  • Lead poisoning can cause permanent damage to the brain and many other organs and causes reduced intelligence and behavioral problems. Lead can also cause abnormal fetal development in pregnant women.
  • HUD and EPA require the disclosure of known information on lead-based paint and lead-based paint hazards before the sale or lease of most housing built before 1978.
  • Before ratification of a contract for housing sale or lease:
  • Sellers and landlords must disclose known lead-based paint and lead-based paint hazards and provide available reports to buyers or renters.
  • Sellers and landlords must give buyers and renters the pamphlet, developed by EPA, HUD, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), titled Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home.
  • Homebuyers will get ten days to conduct a lead-based paint inspection or risk assessment at their own expense. The rule gives the two parties flexibility to negotiate key terms of the evaluation.
  • Sales contracts and leasing agreements must include specific notification and disclosure language.
  • This rule does not require any testing or removal of lead-based paint by sellers or landlords.
  • This rule does not invalidate leasing and sales contracts.
  • Buyers sign a disclosure acknowledging the possibility of lead-based paint.
  • Sellers do not have to remove it.
  • Lead can cause mental retardation.

Real Estate Disclosures about Potential Lead Hazards

Federal law requires that before being obligated under a contract to buy target housing, including most buildings built before 1978, buyers must receive the following from the homeseller:

  • An EPA-approved information pamphlet on identifying and controlling lead-based paint hazards Protect Your Family From Lead In Your Home (PDF).
  • Any known information concerning the presence of lead-based paint or lead-based paint hazards in the home or building.
    • For multi-unit buildings, this requirement includes records and reports concerning common areas and other units when such information was obtained as a result of a building-wide evaluation.
  • An attachment to the contract, or language inserted in the contract, that includes a “Lead Warning Statement” and confirms that the seller has complied with all notification requirements.
  • A 10-day period to conduct a paint inspection or risk assessment for lead-based paint or lead-based paint hazards. Parties may mutually agree, in writing, to lengthen or shorten the time period for inspection. Homebuyers may waive this inspection opportunity. If you have a concern about possible lead-based paint, then get a lead inspection from a certified inspector before buying.

Real Estate Agents and Home Sellers

As real estate agents and home sellers, you play an important role in protecting the health of families purchasing and moving into your home. Buildings built before 1978 are much more likely to have lead-based paint. Federal law requires you to provide certain important information about lead-based paint and/or lead-based paint hazards before a prospective buyer is obligated under a contract to purchase your home.

Real estate agents must:
  • Inform the seller of his or her obligations under the Real Estate Notification and Disclosure Rule. In addition, the agent is responsible, along with the seller or lessor, if the seller or lessor fails to comply; unless the failure involves specific lead-based paint or lead-based paint hazard information that the seller or lessor did not disclose to the agent. Read the regulations that includes these requirements.
  • Provide, as part of the contract process, an EPA-approved information pamphlet on identifying and controlling lead-based paint hazards, Protect Your Family From Lead In Your Home (PDF). Attach to contract, or insert language in the contract, a “Lead Warning Statement” and confirmation that you have complied with all notification requirements.
  • Provide a 10-day period to conduct a paint inspection or risk assessment for lead-based paint or lead-based paint hazards. Parties may mutually agree, in writing, to lengthen or shorten the time period for inspection. Homebuyers may choose to waive this inspection opportunity.

 Radon

  • Is easily mitigated
  • Costs: @ 1200-2000
  • an odorless, tasteless, radioactive gas produced by the natural decay of radioactive substances in the ground and is found throughout the United States.
  • Radon gas may cause lung cancer.
  • The number two reasons people get lung cancer and the number one reason people don’t smoke get lung cancer.
  • Testing for radon in buildings is not a federal requirement.

What should an agent tell a buyer if the buyer would like to have a radon test done?

Hire a professional because you can’t smell or see radon, and it causes lung cancer.

Radon Gas can be Easily Mitigated. It enters the house through the basement.

Asbestos

  • Banned in 1978
  • A material used for many years for insulation of heat pipes and ducts. Also, used in roofing and floor products. When asbestos ages, it can become airborne.
  • A mineral composed of fibers that have fireproofing and insulating qualities.
  • Asbestos is a health hazard when fibers break down and are inhaled.
  • Asbestos has been banned for use in insulation since
  • Encapsulation can prevent asbestos fibers from becoming airborne.
  • Asbestos is a mineral fiber that occurs in rock and soil.
  • Airborne asbestos is called friable.
  • The best way to handle asbestos is to encapsulate it.
  • Prolonged inhalation of asbestos fibers can cause severe and fatal illnesses, including lung cancer, mesothelioma, and asbestosis (a type of Pneumoconiosis).
  • Because of its fiber strength and heat resistance, asbestos has been used in various building construction materials for insulation and as a fire retardant.
  • Asbestos has also been used in a wide range of manufactured goods, mostly in building materials (roofing shingles, ceiling, and floor tiles, paper products, and asbestos cement products), friction products (automobile clutch, brake, and transmission parts), heat-resistant fabrics, packaging, gaskets, and coatings.

Where asbestos may be found:

  • Attic and wall insulation produced containing vermiculite
  • Vinyl floor tiles and the backing on vinyl sheet flooring and adhesives
  • Roofing and siding shingles
  • Textured paint and patching compounds used on wall and ceilings
  • Walls and floors around wood-burning stoves protected with asbestos paper, millboard, or cement sheets
  • Hot water and steam pipes coated with an asbestos material or covered with an asbestos blanket or tape
  • Oil and coal furnaces and door gaskets with asbestos insulation
  • Heat-resistant fabrics
  • Automobile clutches and brakes

Three of the significant health effects associated with asbestos exposure are:

  1. lung cancer
  2. mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer that is found in the thin lining of the lung, chest and the
  3. abdomen and heart asbestosis, a severe progressive, long-term, non-cancer disease of the lungs.

Formaldehyde

  • a hazardous air pollutant in the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990
  • used for building and household products, such as urea-formaldehyde foam insulation (UFFI
  • may cause respiratory problems, eye and skin irritations, and possibly cancer.
  • It is made using a pump set and hose with a mixing gun to mix the foaming agent, resin, and compressed air.

The fully expanded foam is pumped into areas in need of insulation.

It becomes firm within minutes but cures within a week.

UFFI is generally found in homes built before the 1970s, often in basements, crawl spaces, attics, and unfinished attics

Real estate licensees should check state formaldehyde disclosure requirements, and appraisers should note the presence of formaldehyde.

UFF (UFFI) or Urea Formaldehyde Foam is pumped between the walls and banned in the ’70s. 

 Carbon monoxide (CO)

  • a colorless, odorless gas that is a by-product of fuel-burning
  • is produced by furnaces, water heaters, space heaters (including kerosene heaters), fireplaces, and wood stoves
  • may cause carbon monoxide poisoning, which can result in death unless the gas is appropriately vented
  • is detectable with available carbon monoxide detectors, which may be required by state law

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)

  • may be found in electrical equipment
  • PCBs are suspected of causing health problems.
  • The manufacture of PCBs was banned in 1979
  • The commercial distribution of PCBs has been banned
  • Some PCB products are still functioning.
  • In general, individuals are exposed to PCBs overwhelmingly through food, much less so by breathing contaminated air, and least by skin contact.
  • Once exposed, some PCBs may change to other chemicals inside the body.
  • These chemicals or unchanged PCBs can be excreted in feces or remain in a person’s body for years, with half-lives estimated at 10–15 years.
  • PCBs collect in body fat and milk fat.
  • PCBs are present in fish and waterfowl of contaminated aquifers.

Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)

  • used in refrigerators, aerosol sprays, paints, solvents, and foam applications
  • Use stopped in 1978
  • have been replaced by available environmentally friendly substitutes for home appliances

Mold

  • May cause allergic reactions. Mold can be found around wet areas.
  • Black Mold – Stachybotrys Chartarum
  • Molds are part of the natural environment and can be found everywhere, indoors, and outdoors.
  • Mold is not usually a problem unless it begins growing indoors.
  • Allergic reactions to mold are common.
  • They can be immediate or delayed.
  • Molds can cause asthma attacks in people with asthma who are allergic to mold. Also, mold exposure can irritate the eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs of both mold-allergic and non-allergic people.

Real estate licensees should recommend a mold inspection if mold is evident or suspected because of water problems.

EMFs – Electronic Magnetic Fields

  • Electrical circulating currents
  • Suspected of causing cancer.
  • Electromagnetic fields (EMF) are a combination of electric and magnetic fields of energy that surround any electrical device plugged in and turned on.
  • Scientific experiments have not clearly shown whether or not exposure to EMF increases cancer risk.
  • Scientists continue to research the issue.
  • The strength of electromagnetic fields fades with distance from the source.
  • Limiting the amount of time spent around a source and increasing the distance from a source reduces exposure
  • EMFs are found near power lines and other electronic devices such as smart meters.
  • Electric and magnetic fields become weaker as you move further away from them.
  • The fields from power lines and electrical appliances have a much lower frequency than other EMF types, such as microwaves or radio waves.
  • EMF from power lines is considered to be shallow frequency.

Groundwater Contamination

  • Found under the earth’s surface and forms the water table.
  • The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) of 1974 regulates the public drinking water supply.
  • Any water source other than a municipal supply should be tested on property transfers, as should any septic system.

 Underground storage tanks (USTs)

  • May contain petroleum products, industrial chemicals, and other substances
  • are a concern because the leakage may imperil both public and private water sources
  • USTs are subject to federal law and state law, which is sometimes stronger than federal law.
  • The EPA regulates the federal UST program.
  • When a property purchase is considered, a careful inspection of any property on which USTs is suspected should be conducted.
  • UST owners include marketers who sell gasoline to the public (such as service stations and convenience stores) and non-marketers who use tanks solely for their own needs (such as fleet service operators and local governments).
  • The most significant potential hazard from a leaking UST is that the petroleum or other hazardous substance can seep into the soil and contaminate groundwater, the source of drinking water for nearly half of all Americans.
  • A leaking UST can present other health and environmental risks, including the potential for fire and explosion.

 Leaking Underground Storage Tanks (LUSTs)

  • Leaking underground storage tanks can pollute groundwater.
  • Leaking tanks must be removed along with all the polluted material.
  • Waste disposal sites
  • It may be owned by municipalities, be part of commercial enterprises, or be found on farms and other rural properties.
  • Disposal sites built on the wrong type of soil can leak into groundwater.
  • They are lined to prevent seepage
  • They are capped with soil for aesthetic reasons
  • Vented to release gases created by decomposing
 
 
 
 
 
 

Courtesy of Jack

Which of the following is true regarding zoning regulations?

a)         they impact the property’s title and the property’s value

b)         they impact the title but not the property’s value

c)         they impact the property’s value but not the property’s title 📍 📍 📍

d)         they do not impact either the property’s value or the property’s title