As the Zoning Ordinance in our township, we have a gated community. I have been asked if I have the right to enter this community and do inspections. My question is do I have the right to enter this gated community. The community has around 1000 properties and 300 residences.
As a zoning administrator you have the same rights, and limits as a police officer. The rules are the same in terms of when a search warrant is needed and what can be observed from where,
For the issue of a gated community your question would be better directed to your municipal attorney who is experienced in planning and zoning law). It may also be of value to seek help in how this is handled in the gated community from someone from the sheriff's department.
Zoning permit applications forms should always cover this base, by including with the affidavit permission from the landowner to give you ability to enter the property and do inspections. The permit application form then needs to be signed by the landowner and anyone else that such permission would be needed from.