Finding a space to operate the day-to-day aspects of your physical business can be difficult. You’ll likely have certain needs for your company, and finding a building with the exact height and size requirements you need can prove impossible when you’re looking at commercial property rentals. You may also have simply found the perfect location for your business in an area that isn’t currently zoned for commercial operations. Whatever the issue, there are ways of overcoming commercial zoning law problems.
Submit a Variance Request
One of the first things you should try is a variance request. This permit would exempt you from current zoning regulations and allow you to set up your business in an area not currently approved for commercial zoning. In order to be approved for a variance, you’ll need to prove there is an undue hardship that will be solved by it. Your area representatives will also check to be sure if they grant the variance, there won’t be a negative impact to the public.
Apply for a Conditional Use Permit
If you can’t prove there is an undue hardship in your situation but want to use a space that isn’t zoned for commercial business, you can still apply for a conditional use permit. This would allow you to use the space for a specific activity, but you would be required to fulfill certain conditions. These conditions would be set forth by your local zoning board after deliberation.
Build Support From the Local Community
Often, the reason an area isn’t zoned for commercial use is because the current residents don’t want any business activity there. If you want your permit to be approved, changing the minds of the locals may be the best way to do it. Explaining the benefits of having your company in the area and promising to reduce impact from things such as business traffic and construction can encourage your neighbors to support you and convince board members to approve your business permit.
Take the Matter to Court
If you have tried the above mentioned methods and have still been rejected by the zoning board, you may decide to pursue the matter in court. The heavy expense and long wait for this route makes it much less advisable than the other options. You could end up waiting for years to receive a ruling, and the court may still decide against you, so choosing to fight a legal battle could end up costing you time you could use to run your business in addition to court fees. There are some types of cases that may receive faster treatment and better outcomes, so it is always advisable to consult with an attorney before deciding to go to trial.
Seek Alternative Locations
Sometimes your dream location is out of reach, and no matter how many options you try, there is no way the zoning board is going to approve your permit for commercial uses. In these instances, it’s best to seek elsewhere for prime real estate. While this may require changes to your business plan, these adjustments should be minor. There are often alternate options that may prove just as usable. Also, land that is currently restricted for commercial use may become approved in the future, allowing you to move locations if you choose. While it can be frustrating to spend time and effort seeking approval only to be rejected, there are always other options that can prove almost, if not equally, as satisfactory to your business model and goals.
Being persistent and creative can often allow you to bypass problems with commercial zoning laws and receive approval for business in the area you’re seeking. Try these methods and consult with an attorney if necessary to find the perfect place to establish your company.
The content on our website is only meant to provide general information and is not legal advice. We make our best efforts to make sure the information is accurate, but we cannot guarantee it. Do not rely on the content as legal advice. For assistance with legal problems or for a legal inquiry please contact you attorney.