Even if you found the perfect location for your business, you will still need to determine whether the location is zoned properly for your type of business. If the local zoning authority does not allow you to open shop there, all hope is not lost. You may still open doors if you go through their zoning hearings process to get the area rezoned or to get a variance.
When you have support in the community, it is much easier to obtain a zoning variance. This is especially true if you have an influential business and the city does not want you to move to their neighboring city instead. Good people to contact include:
- City council members
- Chamber of commerce
- Trade associations
- Merchants associations
- Contractors and lawyers
Getting an adverse decision about your zoning is not the end of the road. You are allowed to appeal the Planning Commission’s decision. If you do decide to appeal, then it is imperative that you get the support from the local community. And it is wise to address all of the commission’s concerns throughout the appeal.
Sometimes, even upon appeal, your application can be denied again. However, that is still not the end. You may file a court case against the Planning Commission to get the area rezoned. Nevertheless, court hearings are expensive and lengthy. You should weigh in the cost factors and your likelihood of success prior to filing suit.
Zoning is a complicated area of law, which may ultimately be detrimental to your business plans. An experienced real estate lawyer will be able to help you obtain a zoning variance or rezoning.