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How could zoning affect your decision to purchase commercial property?

On Behalf of | Feb 1, 2024 | Land Use & Zoning

There are many things to research and understand before agreeing to buy a commercial property. One of the most important is local zoning laws.

These are a local authority’s way of shaping the makeup of an area. Without it, you could have retirees in care homes living next to smoke-belching factories, school children walking to school past shops displaying adult toys or families unable to sleep due to the noise of revelers in late-night bars.

Zoning provides order for the public benefit. At least that is the idea, as the country is full of examples where it has not quite worked.

Zoning could restrict your ability to use real estate as you intend

There is no point in spending big on a commercial property or even grabbing a bargain if you will never be able to use it for the purpose you want. Once you understand the current zoning situation affecting a property, you can search for proposed changes. Discovering that a particular area is earmarked for a change of zoning may affect your decision. It might make what seems like a good buy unwise (or vice versa), if modifications could negatively affect your ability to use a property it for the purpose you want in the future, or it could open up new areas of opportunity to you that current zoning laws restrict.

While it is possible to apply for a zoning variance for a piece of land you have already bought, there are no guarantees you will succeed. By carrying out adequate research before buying, you can better assess the chances that a piece of real estate is apt for your particular needs.