What Are Real Estate Entitlements?

A real estate entitlement is approval to develop on property for a use that is specific. It involves an extensive legal process to receive approval. A developer would need an entitlement to develop property into a business complex in certain locations. A homebuyer may need an entitlement to develop a mother-in-law unit.

Depending on the project, you may need multiple approvals and permits. Some come from local, state, and federal agencies. Each of these governing bodies gives full compliance to plan and meet land laws as development progresses.

There are some things to know about entitlements before beginning the process. They are complicated, potentially costly, time consuming, and have an element of uncertainty. Once you receive the entitlement, it dictates what you can and cannot do on a property.

Entitlement Examples

  • Use permits – entitlements may be needed to add onto existing buildings on a property
  • Zoning – If there is a proposed variance in height of buildings, parking spaces, and other factors, then zoning entitlements may be required
  • Rezoning – property could be rezoned from commercial to residential and vice versa once you receive an entitlement
  • Landscaping – Some landscaping designs may need to be reviewed under certain city planning and other development agencies

A Coachella Valley real estate attorney can help you with applying and obtaining the entitlement you need for your development. The process can be lengthy and challenging through the complex system. Individuals, committees, and even community members could challenge any aspect of your proposal. Hire an experienced lawyer to help you navigate the entitlement process.