Legally Permissible

  Previous topic Next topic JavaScript is required for the print function  

To be the highest and best use, the possible use must be legally permissible:


The use must be permissible based on current zoning regulations.  Proposed construction often does not conform to zoning regulations.  If it reasonable to expect that the land can be rezoned or that a zoning variance can be obtained, the appraiser may conclude a highest and best use subject to a zoning change.


Any proposed use must conform to building codes.


The use must conform to deed restrictions and other private restrictions on real estate.  If there is a restriction in the deed limiting the height of the building to two stories, a taller building cannot be the highest and best use.  If there is a deed restriction prohibiting the sale of liquor on the premises, a liquor store or bar cannot be the highest and best use.


Any proposed use must conform to environmental regulations.  Environment regulations have be become more and more important in recent years and it is not uncommon for a project to be denied because of them.


Example:  The corner of Spalding Drive and Holcomb Bridge Road is ideal for a car wash, however, current sewer restrictions preclude this use.  A car wash cannot be the highest and best use unless the sewer restrictions are lifted or modified to permit this use.


Zoning regulations may include:


Land use
Lot size
Types of structures permitted
Limitations on building size and height
Minimum setbacks
Permitted density


Legal restrictions also include private restrictions:


Restrictive covenants
Deed restrictions
Building codes

Page url: