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Horse Property Must Conform to Public Zoning and Private Restrictions

Question: We purchased a home on five acres in North Phoenix. The seller owned horses, and had a small corral in one corner of the property. We had reviewed all of the title documents, including the CC&Rs, and there was no prohibition against horses. After moving into our home with our horses, however, we received complaints from one of our neighbors about our horses. Yesterday we received a notice from the City of Phoenix that the City zoning code prohibits horses in our community. If the CC&Rs in our community allow horses, how can the zoning for the City of Phoenix prohibit horses?

Answer: Zoning is public regulation of a community. CC&Rs are private regulation of a community. A homeowner generally must comply with both zoning and CC&Rs. If the City of Phoenix zoning prohibits horses, you will need to get a zoning variance in order to keep your horses. A complaining neighbor, however, may make it difficult for you to get a zoning variance.

Note: To get a zoning variance you should contact the Planning and Zoning department for the City of Phoenix or hire a zoning attorney.

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