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What Can I Do if I Find Out that the Area Where My Business is Located is Not Properly Zoned for My Business?

If you find a location for your business, sign a lease and set up shop only to find out that your business is not authorized in that zoning area, it can be a huge hassle and detrimental to your business to try and relocate to another area.  Fortunately, there are a few options you can try first before having to relocate: 

  • Seek Community Support - If you can convince zoning and planning officials that your business offers an invaluable service to the local community, such as significantly benefiting the economy, they may be more willing to keep your business in its current location.  Try to seek support from members of your community to show your business shouldn't be relocated.
  • Appeal - If zoning and planning officials rule against your business, you may be able to appeal their decision to a local board of appeals.  You can ask that the zoning ordinance be interpreted in a way more favorable to your business, or you may try to obtain a variance if you think the strict interpretation of the ordinance is an undue hardship to the business community.
  • Go to Court - If you do not have luck with the administrative appeals process, you always have the right to take your legal dispute to court.  It is very important to keep in mind that going through the courts can be very time consuming and often very expensive.  Be sure to consider how important your issue is and, even if you win in the end, if it is worth the potential cost and time that the court system presents.

Should I Consult a Lawyer about My Zoning Problem?

If you are having problems with the impact of zoning ordinances on the location of your business and wish to go through the administrative appeals process and possibly even to court if need be, you may want to consult a real estate attorney.  An experienced real property lawyer can help you understand the local ordinances affecting you, and let you know what your rights are and what actions will be most effective for solving your zoning problem.

Photo of page author Ken LaMance

, LegalMatch Law Library Managing Editor and Attorney at Law

Last Modified: 05-18-2015 02:37 PM PDT

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