With its expanding population and business growth, commercial real estate development in South Florida is on the rise. However, finding the right space to start a new undertaking can be challenging. Specifically, new businesses looking to build or reuse existing structures in innovative ways may encounter zoning and land use barriers. The good news is, that by obtaining a special exception, a commercial business venture can move forward without adversely impacting the surrounding community. Here are some issues to consider when requesting a special exception for your South Florida property
Special Exceptions v. Variances
When an owner applies for a special exception, he or she is requesting permission to use the property in a manner that was not contemplated by the zoning ordinances or district. The request being made asserts that with certain limitations and restrictions on acreage, location, or size in relation to the neighboring areas, that the use would not adversely affect the surrounding community. For example, a business owner may be able to develop a parcel of land under the applicable zoning regulations for use as a natural health and wellness center. Later on, the business may want to open an acupuncture school as part of the center. If this use is not allowed under regulations, a special exception will be needed.
By contrast, a request for a variance seeks to do something outside of the current zoning requirements for the land. If the variance is granted, it grants permission to change the use. However, the change is limited explicitly to the terms of the variance for that piece of property. For instance, the variance may be asking to open a restaurant in an area that was previously zoned for residential use.
Requesting a Special Exception in South Florida
Zoning, variances, and special exceptions are creatures of both state laws and local ordinances. While Florida law governs many aspects of how parties convey property, the town, village, or city where your property is located has specific regulations and requirements concerning its use. If you believe you are going to need a special exception for your South Florida property, it would be best to consult with a local Florida Real Estate Attorney as soon as possible. Each community has its own specific regulations and processes that will take time to navigate. Further, obtaining a special exception requires more than merely completing an application: You need to state compelling reasons in support of your proposal. Your attorney can assist you in making the right and most convincing arguments that the municipality should approve your request. Additionally, local counsel will be familiar with the nuances of the special exception approval process for the area and can provide valuable insight and advice.
At Rabideau Klein, Guy Rabideau, Esq. and David E. Klein, Esq. are dedicated, Florida Board-Certified Real Estate Attorneys with the local expertise and experience you need to assist you during your South Florida zoning, variance, or special exception matter. Contact Rabideau Klein today to discuss your real estate legal needs.