As a commercial property investor, there are several factors to consider when deciding on a purchase location. Elements such as the potential for increased value, population growth, and the intended use of the structure and land are all important. However, there is another vital area to consider before signing your purchase contract: Zoning. Unfortunately, owners sometimes overlook the importance of this topic only to find out too late that essential aspects of their use are restricted. Here are some zoning issues to consider when buying commercial property.
Zoning refers to municipal regulation of privately-owned land. In Palm Beach County, for example, there are several towns and villages which each have their own independent governmental structures. These governing bodies enact ordinances that control where property areas can be located. The cities are allowed to impose certain restrictions on private owners as part of their zoning authority.
Types of Zoning Restrictions
You may have heard of an area being zoned residential or commercial. These terms mean that only commercial property or residential housing can be erected in the specific zones designated by the city. There can also be agricultural, recreational, and industrial zones, depending on the community. For commercial property owners, there can be other zoning regulations such as restrictions on building heights, setbacks, the distance between structures, types of permissible buildings, and specifications on the appearance of structures.
Common Commercial Property Zoning Disputes
Businesses and local municipalities can encounter problems with zoning such as setback issues which occur when a structure is built too close to the property line. There can also be disputes when a business owner erects a structure at an impermissible building height. Signage, or the allowable type of sign a business may use in a community to advertise, can also create conflict with a municipality.
Avoiding Commercial Property Zoning Issues
The good news is that with proper research and planning, commercial property investors do not necessarily have to be thwarted by red tape and zoning regulations. There are ways to plan for the requirements and ask for exceptions. By working with an experienced, local real estate attorney, you can learn about the area zoning rules, assess your plans for the property, and consider your options.
At Rabideau Klein, Guy Rabideau, Esq. and David E. Klein, Esq. are dedicated, Palm Beach area Florida Board-Certified Real Estate Attorneys with extensive experience with commercial real estate transactions and managing zoning regulations. We have the expertise and local knowledge you need to ensure that your interests are protected. Contact Rabideau Klein today to discuss your real estate legal needs.